DEEPFAKE PORN BOT TARGETS THOUSANDS OF WOMEN ON TELEGRAM

Deepfake Pornography Bot Targets Women Via Telegram


Written by: Frances Leach

@frances_beatrix


A bot operating on the messaging app Telegram has generated nude images of more than 100,000 real women, revealed in an explosive new report.




The report found that women – some of them below the age of consent – had photographs of themselves uploaded onto Telegram, where then an ecosystem of bots would create deepfake nude images of the women and share this on through other Telegram channels.


According to the research 104,080 of the images were publicly shared on the app, with the rest believed to be distributed on further using private networks.





Telegram which originally started as a secure messaging system similar to WhatsApp has now become the prime platform to facilitate such activities, as the app provides end-to-end encryption making it incredibly difficult to track down the sources of illegal content such as this.


Deepfake pornography, is what is referred to as 'synthetic porn' and is generated by leveraging powerful techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate and generate visual and audio content.




Deepfake pornography is considered to highly unethical and controversial, as it is created with the images of non-consenting individuals and then superimposed onto pre-existing pornographic materials.


In February 2018, online pornography site 'Pornhub' announced it would be banning deepfake videos on its website because it is considered "non-consensual content" which violates their terms of service.


The Telegram app

Noelle Martin wrote in Elle earlier this year about how she one day discovered deepfake pornography of herself, and how she fought to have the videos removed from online pornography websites as part of a campaign pushing for image-based abuse to be made a criminal offense in 2017.


Campaigners are working to end the use of deepfake pornography with tougher regulations and sentencing, however it continues to remain prolific within online pornographic communities.


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