Scarlett Johansson, the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, knows a thing or two about unwanted nudes making their way onto the internet. In 2012, a hacker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after leaking nude photos of her and other celebrities, setting an example to warn future thieves.
But there may be nobody to arrest, nobody even to sue, when it comes to deepfakes: AI-generated videos that seamlessly stitch Johansson and other celebs’ faces onto the bodies of porn stars having sex.
Now, Johansson has spoken out against deepfakes in an interview with The Washington Post, They’ve published her comments verbatim, so I’d suggest clicking to read the whole thing — you can practically hear her throw up her arms in exasperation.
Effectively, she says there’s nothing she and her team can do about fake sex vids. “I think it’s a useless pursuit, legally, mostly because the internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself,” she tells the Post.
[E]very country has their own legalese regarding the right to your own image, so while you may be able to take down sites in the U.S. that are using your face, the same rules might not apply in Germany. Even if you copyright pictures with your image that belong to you, the same copyright laws don’t apply overseas. I have sadly been down this road many, many times.
The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause, for the most part.
ScarJo suggests the internet is now depraved enough that it’s “only a matter of time” before any given individual is targeted the same way, and so she’s warning anyone who’s vulnerable to protect themselves.
Whether or not you agree that the internet is a single, monolithic entity, that seems like decent advice to follow. Because even though a number of internet giants like Reddit have taken steps to police fake AI porn and even porn in general, it’s sometimes in their best interests not to. That’s probably why I had no trouble tracking down fake porn videos of Scarlett Johansson on Pornhub just now — a site that had supposedly “banned” deepfakes ten months ago.
And let’s not even get started on the Scarlett Johansson robot.