The Most Urgent Threat Of Deepfakes Isn’t Politics

4 min readNov 24, 2020


Almost every discussion around deepfakes centers on their political insinuation in the age of fake news, but the majority of prey in deepfakes ain’t politicians.

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In 2017, Deepfakes went viral zealously when AI manipulated pornographic video was posted on Reddit. In the present scenario, the majority of deepfakes are pornographic, yet the foremost focus is still on political deepfakes.

Basically, Deepfakes are the morphed videos or audio recordings that resemble and sound just like the authentic form of the same.

The pornographic side of deepfakes is gradually becoming scenery in cyberspace. 96% of deepfakes present on the internet is pornography. This new growing technology is disproportionately targeting women.

The Gravest Peril Of Deepfakes

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Deepfake videos on pornographic websites like XVideos, Xnxx, and xHamster have more than a million views. On the above websites, a 30-second video clip which has Emma Watson’s face in it was circulated vigorously and adorned more than 23 million views. There are deepfakes of other Hollywood celebs too, being Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Natalie Portman and others.

Kristen Bell, the voice of the very popular Netflix show Gossip Girl was alerted by her husband, Dax Shepard about her deepfake videos. After knowing about her deepfakes, “This is my face, this belongs to me,” quoted Kristen Bell.

In June, Kristen told Vox, “Even if it’s labelled as, ‘Oh, this is not her’ it’s hard to think about that, I’m being exploited.”

According to a new analysis, hundreds of explicit deepfake videos starring female renown celebrities and artists are being uploaded to the worlds’ largest pornographic websites each month.

Deepfakes; A Perilous Brand-new Frontier

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Deepfakes are mostly weaponized against ladies; a perilous brand-new frontier aka “nemesis porn”. The lion’s share in deepfakes online is pornography.

Henry Ajder, Co-Author of Deeptrace Report said, “It's not just celebrities anymore.”

Non-consensual deepfake videos, that degrade and demean women, are racking up millions of views on mainstream porn websites & what petrifies us the most is no acrimonious effort is taken about them.

Two years ago, Noelle Martin, a 24-year-old law graduate and activist in Australia, received an Email, “There are deepfakes of you,” the email read. Except, she did not enact any of the sexual scenes in the videos. The title of the video had her full name.

She was frightened. Disgraced. Devastated.

“Fake porn and my name will be forever associated, And that’s what makes me sad,” Noelle says.

The footage was a deepfake, but who would believe her?

Anyone Could Become The Next Victim

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami and President of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative explains, “You don’t need to be skilled anymore to make a deepfake.”

A deepfake pornographic site is loaded of videos featuring celebrities and comprises videos of actresses that have been viewed over millions of times. Some videos assert they were requested, while their creators state they can be sweetened in Bitcoin.

Deepfakes could do a lot worse than swapping celebrities’ faces into porn videos and putting words in politicians’ mouths.

Henry Ajder said, “At the moment, you still need a fair bit of data to make a persuasive deepfake, but as the technology is improving, we’re needing less data, and tools are becoming increasingly accessible and user-friendly.”

The public is likewise likely to feel doubtful than to be deceived by deepfakes, but this resulting dilemma diminishes trust in the news on social media. “I wish the Internet were a lot more responsible and a little bit kinder,” says Kristen Bell.

Despite the pressing nature of video manipulations and expert deepfakes, the application of it is rising.

What can be done?

There’s no absolute solution to this, but there are at least three boulevards that can be adopted to address deepfakes: technology, legal remedies, and enhanced awareness among the public.
The technology, while acting as a threat on various fronts, can also be practised for satire, comedy, art, and critique.