The creation of nonconsensual deepfakes has surged ninefold since 2019, with the likes of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft accused of abetting the trend. * Victims are left to fend for themselves as a lack of federal law and fragmented state legislation render legal recourse nearly impossible.
In a chilling revelation, leading tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are found at the nexus of a nonconsensual, deepfake surge that has spread like wildfire across the digital world. The lack of federal legislation and the absence of prosecutions have created a dangerous playground for malicious actors, while victims grapple with emotional trauma and legal helplessness.
This startling exposure comes through a comprehensive report by Cecilia D’Anastasio and Davey Alba of Bloomberg, chronicling the ninefold increase in the creation of offensive and nonconsensual deepfakes since 2019.
At the core of this nefarious trend are some of the world's biggest technology names, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Their tools and platforms have inadvertently given wings to the creation and circulation of deepfake X-rated material. Google's role as the main traffic driver to widely-used deepfake sites, Amazon and Microsoft's hosting services, as well as X's circulation of deepfaked content shed light on an alarming conundrum.
Research from independent analyst Genevieve Oh reveals that nearly 150,000 videos appeared across 30 sites in May 2023 alone, garnering 3.8 billion views in total. The relentless nature of this exploitation has left victims trapped in a never-ending battle against these virtual onslaughts.
Meanwhile, activists and legal experts are turning their attention toward the tech industry, urging companies to self-regulate and put checks in place to curb this menacing phenomenon. But with the tech industry's current legal protections and the slow pace of legal reforms, the battle against deepfake material may be a protracted one, leaving countless victims to continue bearing the brunt of this technological nightmare.