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Ocasio-Cortez proposes anti-deepfake porn legislation

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said her own experience of seeing non-consensual fake pornographic images of herself online prompted her to act.
Ocasio-Cortez proposes anti-deepfake porn legislation
Posted at 11:01 AM, Apr 09, 2024

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, is among a group of lawmakers attempting to penalize those who use artificial intelligence and "deepfakes" to create non-consensual sexually explicit material. 

Ocasio-Cortez introduced the DEFIANCE Act last month in Congress. 

In January, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Senate's version of the legislation. Ocasio-Cortez might find unusual allies in her efforts as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, are among those who have backed the Senate's version of the DEFIANCE Act. 

“Victims of nonconsensual pornographic deepfakes have waited too long for federal legislation to hold perpetrators accountable. As deepfakes become easier to access and create — 96% of deepfake videos circulating online are nonconsensual pornography — Congress needs to act to show victims that they won’t be left behind,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “The DEFIANCE Act will allow victims to finally defend their reputations and take civil action against individuals who produced, distributed, or received digital forgeries.”  

SEE MORE: Kansas moves to require porn sites to verify ages

In a story published Monday by Rolling Stone, Ocasio-Cortez explained how a deepfake of her prompted her to act. 

“There’s a shock to seeing images of yourself that someone could think are real," she told Rolling Stone. "There are certain images that don’t leave a person, they can’t leave a person. It’s not a question of mental strength or fortitude — this is about neuroscience and our biology.”

The legislation would give someone the right to sue for damages if their likeness is used to create a pornographic deepfake. The Senate's version was released around the same time a deepfake pornographic video of Taylor Swift circulated on the internet. 

“Nobody — neither celebrities nor ordinary Americans — should ever have to find themselves featured in AI pornography,” said Hawley. “Innocent people have a right to defend their reputations and hold perpetrators accountable in court. This bill will make that a reality.”

The senators backing the legislation noted that a 2019 study by Deeptrace Lounge found that 96% of deepfake videos on the internet involved pornography. 


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