Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive - an app breaching an ethical line no other service has crossed before.…
"MIT Technology Review has chosen not to name the service, which we will call Y, or use any direct quotes and screenshots of its contents, to avoid driving traffic to the site. It was discovered and brought to our attention by deepfake researcher Henry Ajder."
"From the beginning, deepfakes, or AI-generated synthetic media, have primarily been used to create pornographic representations of women, who often find this psychologically devastating."
"Many of these services have since been forced offline, but the code still exists in open-source repositories and has continued to resurface in new forms. The latest such site received over 6.7 million visits in August... It has yet to be taken offline."
"But as the first dedicated pornographic face-swapping app, Y takes this to a new level. It’s “tailor-made” to create pornographic images of people without their consent, says Adam Dodge, the founder of EndTAB, a nonprofit that educates people about technology-enabled abuse."
"Many of the face swaps are obviously fake...But to a casual observer, some are subtle enough to pass, and the trajectory of deepfakes has already shown how quickly they can become indistinguishable from reality."
"Some experts argue that the quality of the deepfake doesn’t really matter because the psychological toll on victims can be the same either way. And many members of the public remain unaware that such tech exists, so even low-quality face swaps can be capable of fooling people."
"The consequences for women and girls targeted by such activity can be crushing. At a psychological level, these videos can feel as violating as revenge porn—real intimate videos filmed or released without consent."
"And the repercussions can stay with victims for life. The images and videos are difficult to remove from the internet, and new material can be created at any time."
“It affects you with getting jobs. Every single job interview you ever go for, this might be brought up. Potential romantic relationships. To this day, I’ve never been successful fully in getting any of the images taken down. Forever, that will be out there. No matter what I do.”
For women in South Africa. A revenge porn law exists. It does need to be expanded, but a court of law would interpret it generously. I have seen many memes created, and there are no doubt deepfake videos. In terms of the The Films and Publications Act revenge porn is a crime.
The @FPB_ZA website has been offline for weeks, suspended. A state entity meant to deal with online violence. I mean. But the law exists and can be enforced. I would like to see the first case where the revenge porn law is tested.

(FPB pay your website host, goodness!)
The Cybercrimes Act could also apply, specifically s16…
But in a nutshell, legislation is needed to be quite specific dealing with online violence against women, including AI, not just revenge porn. Don't give me "free speech," you don't have free speech to create sexualised images of women online and emotionally abuse them.
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More from @zilevandamme

9 Jul
Funny story. In my political career, I'd go after private companies and they would run to party leadership to try convince them to tell me to stop and I'd simply say, "nah," and carry on.
I went after Multichoice once because of the SABC archives saga. I'll never forget Koos Bekker going on radio saying I ain't sh*t. 😂 Feather in my cap that. He didn't come himself though. He sent the CEO and Chair of Multichoice to try convince me. Ya girl said no.
Oh, and there's this dude, hates my guts to this day. He ran a PR company, I went after his client. He used his influence in the party to get me to stop, I said no. He send an army of acolytes after me. I said no. I got my own backing. We said no. He is STILL mad.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jul
.@NewFrame_News warns South African media “to keep a critical and principled distance from @VumaReputation and any other PR firm working in the interests of violently repressive dictatorships.”
“We [@NewFrame_News] note that there is an organised effort to deny the plain fact that our journalists were tortured in the Sigodvweni police station and to circulate an entirely and demonstrable false account of events.”
“New Frame has also been contacted by @VumaReputation. This PR firm represents the interests of the #eSwatini state. It has also contacted journalists in other media orgs with the aim of bending the narrative towards the interests of a highly repressive police…”
Read 4 tweets
8 Jul
Just came across this report by @carienduplessis. South Africa’s very own Bell Pottinger - Vuma Reputation Management. Hired by @EswatiniGovern1 to polish its image. Well, well, well. Won’t this just end in tears.…
Hello @VumaReputation, I’d like to talk.
Afternoon @PalesaLove and @TshepoSefo how are you doing on this fine Thursday afternoon? Are you still the joint CEOs of @VumaReputation? Your website contains no information of your staff. Bizarre. Pray tell.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jul
To get a proper full picture of #KingMswati’s family’s opulence, business dealings, scandals spend some time on the @RoyalLeeches Facebook page. Keep scrolling. Disgusting stuff.…
For example, in 2018 for #KingMswati’s birthday @MTNza subsidiary @MTNSwaziland presented him with a R1 million cheque as a birthday present, @PanMacmillanSA which supplies many schools in #eSwatini with book gave him R394K.

The information is out there. Dig! 👏🏾
If you see on the @RoyalLeeches page. A lot of the watches are from Jacob & Co. Why? @amaBhungane investigated a few years ago.…

#KingMswati’s business dealings are hidden in plain sight, they just need to be connected to present the full picture.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun
“Around the world, governments are “taking on” the tech industry, with data governance & anti-competitive practices. A growing number of data experts & civil rights activists are pushing for new ways of controlling how data are collected, processed & used”
“The challenge for data rights advocates, economists, and governments is in developing ways of democratizing the data economy so that societies as a whole can leverage more benefit from the data revolution.”
“Innovations to redress the imbalance of the data economy range from top-down government interventions, such as regulatory reforms, to bottom-up civil society-led actions, where “data stewardship”....which give people more control. “
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun
This is why social media platforms need human moderators in addition to AI. AI cannot detect nuance. The money is there to hire moderators and country-specific ones in particular. In South Africa those who cater for all 11 languages.
“...language AI technology, still struggles with one of the most basic applications. In a new study, scientists tested four of the best AI systems for detecting hate speech and found that all of them struggled in different ways to distinguish toxic and innocuous sentences”
“The results point to one of the most challenging aspects of AI-based hate-speech detection today: Moderate too little and you fail to solve the problem; moderate too much and you could censor the kind of language that marginalized groups use to empower and defend themselves.”
Read 4 tweets

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