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Silencing Taylor Swift: X’s Battle Against AI-Generated Controversy

Taylor Swift 772


Users on platform X are currently unable to search for Taylor Swift’s name, as confirmed by Us Weekly.

Entering the 34-year-old pop star’s name into the X search bar results in an error message. Upon pressing enter, users receive the prompt, “Something went wrong. Try reloading.”

Silencing Taylor Swift: X’s Battle Against AI-Generated Controversy
Taylor Swift got silenced on X (formerly called Twitter) (Credit: taylorswift/Instagram)

Further down the page, a second note reassures users with, “Don’t fret — it’s not your fault.” Although neither X, Elon Musk, nor Swift has addressed the incident, it follows an AI-generated photo scandal on the platform.

AI-generated explicit images of Swift surfaced on X without her consent on January 24. After 17 hours and amid rumors of legal action by Swift, X removed the images.

“The sexually explicit, A.I.-generated images depicting Taylor Swift are upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement released on Friday, January 26. “The development and dissemination of fake images — especially those of a lewd nature — without someone’s consent must be made illegal. As a society, we have it in our power to control these technologies, but we must act now before it is too late.” 

Silencing Taylor Swift: X’s Battle Against AI-Generated Controversy
Taylor Swift is on fire during her stage performance (Credit: taylorswift/Instagram)

The statement concluded: “We support Taylor and women everywhere who are the victims of this kind of theft of their privacy and right to autonomy.”

SAG-AFTRA, advocating for performers’ protection from AI, supported the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act. Congressman Joe Morelle introduced the bill to halt the misuse of NSFW images created from fabricated photos, a concern that contributed to the actors’ strike in 2023.

The White House, led by President Joe Biden’s administration, is addressing the matter. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated in a Friday press conference, “Congress should take legislative action; that’s how you deal with some of these issues.”

Silencing Taylor Swift: X’s Battle Against AI-Generated Controversy
Taylor Swift (Credit: taylorswift/Instagram)

Jean-Pierre, aged 49, emphasized, “Lax enforcement disproportionately affects women and girls, who sadly are the primary targets of online harassment and abuse. Legislation is essential to address this issue.”

In 2022, the White House initiated a task force to combat online harassment, which Jean-Pierre described on Friday as a “patchwork approach.”

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