A frightening new technology that allows users to impose celebrities’ faces onto sex tapes is gathering momentum, with one murky site attracting over 13million visitors a month.
As video manipulation technology becomes more advanced, there are fears that people may no longer be able to believe their own eyes when viewing X-rated content.
Largely, these fears have been driven by a rise in deepfake content. This is technology that allows editors to take a person’s face and impose it onto a sex tape that already exists, making it appear as though it is them who are being recorded.
READ MORE:Deepfake pornography could lead to 'next pandemic' as hackers steal phones
Now, a new BBC documentary Deepfake Porn: Could You Be Next? has exposed the practice and warned viewers that celebrity-focused sites could seen begin to target the average person.
During the documentary, journalist Jennifer Savin introduced presenter Jess Davies to the deepfake websites, where users can request celebrity names to be imposed onto sex tapes.
“There’s a lot of big name celebrities, and it’s really disheartening to see as well that there are a few names that crop up over and over again,” she explained.
It’s a trend that’s growing in popularity; the top site Mr DeepFakes records 13million visitors each month and boasts 250,000 members who consistently request enhanced videos featuring their favourite celebrities.
Speaking from his base on the east coast of the US, the so-called MrDeepFakes spoke anonymously on the documentary, where he made some chilling revelations about the future of the technology.
“Currently on Mr DeepFakes we have over 20,000 deep fake porn videos hosted,” he observed.
“The technology will only get better and it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish between a real video and a fake video.
“There will be a point in the future where any of us could be deep faked.”
This potentially means that, like victim Kate Isaacs, unsuspecting people could find their own faces imposed onto a porn video, which is then shared worldwide.
Despite the potentially damaging impact of this new trend, the website owner defended his position.
“I think that as long as you’re not trying to pass it off as the real thing, that shouldn’t really matter because it’s basically fake,” he argued. “I don’t really feel that consent is required, it’s a fantasy, it’s not real.”
Currently, the site only allows users to request celebrities, but the expansion of the software is enabling other operators to target normal people through deep fake apps.
Despite this threat, the act of deepfaking a person’s face onto a porn video is not illegal, unless the victim can prove that the creator made the video with malice.
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Amid this anxiety, MrDeepfake accepted that he “can see where women are coming from” and revealed that he hadn’t told his wife about his murky exploits.
There are some plans in the UK to tackle harms like those exploited by deepfakes.
The Online Safety Bill, which is expected to be debated in Parliament this Autumn, intends to “address deepfakes” on tech firm’s sites, according to a government spokesperson contacted by the BBC.
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