Taylor Swift ‘furious’ over X-rated, AI-generated photos

A “furious” Taylor Swift is reportedly considering legal action after X-rated, AI-generated photographs of her began circulating online.

In a frightening glimpse of what lies ahead for big-name celebrities, the graphic images went viral, with many believing they were real.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Taylor Swift gets deepfaked in AI scam.

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The fake images were predominantly circulating on social media site X, previously known as Twitter.

The photos, which show the singer in sexually suggestive and explicit positions, were viewed tens of millions of times before being removed from social platforms.

But nothing on the internet is truly gone forever, and they will undoubtedly continue to be shared on other, less regulated channels.

Swift’s spokesperson did not respond to a request from CNN for comment, but sources close to Swift said the Cruel Summer singer was livid.

The star’s enormous contingent of loyal “Swifties” expressed their outrage on social media this week, bringing the issue to the forefront.

By Thursday, the hashtag “Protect Taylor Swift” had starting trending on X after the pictures were reshared over and over again.

“Using AI-generated pornography of someone is awful and inexcusable. You guys need to be put in jail,” one Swift fan wrote.

“People sharing the AI pics are sick and disgusting,” wrote another.

“Protect Taylor Swift at all costs.”

Taylor Swift. Credit: Getty

Like most major social media platforms, X’s policies ban the sharing of “synthetic, manipulated, or out-of-context media that may deceive or confuse people and lead to harm.”

“This is a prime example of the ways in which AI is being unleashed for a lot of nefarious reasons without enough guardrails in place to protect the public square,” Ben Decker, who runs digital investigations agency Memetica, told CNN.

Decker said the exploitation of generative AI tools to create potentially harmful content targeting all types of public figures is increasing quickly and spreading faster than ever across social media.

“The social media companies don’t really have effective plans in place to necessarily monitor the content,” he said.

It’s unclear where the Taylor Swift-related images originated.

Although some images were found on sites such as Instagram and Reddit, they were a widespread issue on X in particular.

Taylor Swift performs onstage in Brazil. Credit: Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Mana

Decker said that Swift being targeted could bring more attention to the growing issues around AI-generated imagery.

“When you have figures like Taylor Swift who are this big (being targeted), maybe this is what prompts action from legislators and tech companies because they can’t afford to have America’s sweetheart be on a public campaign against them,” he said.

“I would argue they need to make her feel better because she does carry probably more clout than almost anyone else on the internet.”

Previous AI scams

It’s not the first time Swift has been subjected to an AI scam.

A recent bogus ad used AI to fake Swift’s face and voice as she extolled the virtues of Le Creuset, with fans told they could win a free cookware set from the pricey brand.

“In several ads, Ms Swifts cloned voice addressed ‘Swifties’ … and said she was thrilled to be handing out free cookware sets,” The New York Times reported.

“All people had to do was click on a button and answer a few questions before the end of the day.”

Le Creuset said it had played no part in the deepfake ads and urged its customers to be careful about which links they clicked on when browsing social media.

Swift’s likeness was probably used because she has a known fondness for the Le Creuset brand.

An AI-generated image of Taylor Swift used in a recent deepfake scam. Credit: Facebook

Her collection of Le Creuset cookware even features on a Tumblr account dedicated to her home decor, so many fans assumed the deepfake ad was legitimate.

Swift is just one in a long and ever-growing list of celebrities to suffer the fate of being used for AI-created scams.

In October last year, actor Tom Hanks, journalist Gayle King and YouTuber Mr Beast were all subjected to AI scams involving fake ads for dental plans, iPhone giveaways and so on.

As AI develops and deepfake videos begin to look more and more realistic, the problem is unlikely to go away any time soon.

Siwei Lyu, a computer science professor at the University of Buffalo in the US, told The New York Times it was getting easier and faster to create deepfakes.

“These tools are becoming very accessible these days,” Dr Lye said, adding it was now possible to make a “decent-quality video” in under 45 minutes.

“It’s becoming very easy, and that’s why we’re seeing more,” he said.

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