Deepfake Porn Poses A Major Threat To K-Pop Idols

Deepfake technology is being used to create K-Pop pornography.

In a world where technology can skillfully imitate reality, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to trust your own eyes.

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Rolling Stone / Shutterstock

 

Deepfake is a video manipulation technique that superimposes existing images and videos onto source images or videos. In short, one person’s face can be seamlessly put on another person’s body. Deepfakes have been used to make entertaining videos, but they’re also used to create hoax news and celebrity pornography.

Actress Amy Adams deepfake Nicolas Cage’s face.

According to Rolling Stone, a new study shows that nearly 96% of deepfakes on the internet are used for deepfake pornography that uses women’s likenesses without their consent. The study’s results show that 41% of pornographic deepfake subjects are British or American actresses, and 25% are female K-Pop idols and/or musicians. According to Deeptrace CEO Giorgio Patrini, pornographic K-Pop deepfakes are nothing new, but as K-Pop expands globally, so too do K-Pop deepfakes, especially in adult videos.

Data from the study shows that most creators of pornographic K-Pop deepfakes aren’t from South Korea, but China, one of K-Pop’s largest markets. The fact that pornography is illegal in South Korea may also be a key factor.

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Deepfakes are yet another example of how idols, primarily female idols, have become targets of sexual objectification. Compared to their male counterparts, female idols are disproportionately portrayed in pornographic deepfakes. Although there may be several reasons for this, Hye Jin Lee, PhD, clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California, believes anti-fans play a role.

Considering that K-pop is all about image (particularly for female K-pop idols whose squeaky-clean image is a must to maintain their reputation), nothing would bring greater satisfaction to [male] anti-fans …than tarnishing the reputation of the K-pop idols and humiliating them in the process.

— Hye Jin Lee, PhD

 

In addition to humiliating their subjects and violating their image rights, pornographic deepfakes pose a threat to idols’ careers, reputations, and more. As of now, deepfake technology is not easy for the average person to use; it requires a high level of coding skills and specific hardware. However, since businesses that offer deepfake services to users are on the rise, accessibility to celebrity deepfake porn also continues to increase.

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Source: Rolling Stone
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