What to do if someone makes a deepfake on you? – 02/04/2024 – Ronaldo Lemos

What to do if someone makes a deepfake on you?  – 02/04/2024 – Ronaldo Lemos

Last week, the world watched in amazement as fake pornographic images of singer Taylor Swift went viral. These deepfakes were spread on Twitter (X) and quickly reached millions of views. The platforms acted quickly to remove most of the images and made the singer’s name impossible to search for for a few hours. Still, the damage was done.

If this can happen to Swift, what about each of us? The singer is the biggest celebrity of the moment. It earned US$2 billion (R$1.27 billion) last year. She has lawyers and image managers at her disposal. Even so, she was unable to contain the viralization of deepfakes.

What to do if something like this happens to you, in Brazil? First, it’s worth remembering that making pornographic deepfakes today is simple. There are several applications that generate nude images with a simple photo of the person. Others allow you to change the face in a pornographic scene, inserting that of the victim.

If something like this happens, unfortunately it will be up to the victim to take steps to contain the damage. The first is to document the crime. Obtain records of the images released, the platforms they are on, the addresses and profiles they are sharing.

Once this is done, it is essential to notify the platforms immediately about what happened. Thanks to the Marco Civil da Internet, there is an article in the law that obliges platforms to remove images and videos with scenes of nudity and sexual acts published without authorization. This led platforms to create a permanent reporting channel for this type of content. The victim can use this channel to request the immediate removal of the deepfake. The link can be found in the Facebook Help Center and on the “remove information” page in the case of Google.

Another important measure is to file a crime report (police report). If there is a cybercrime police station close to the victim, it is worth going there (there are currently such police stations in most states). If there isn’t one, look for a normal police station (or register online, for rights preservation purposes).

The victim can then take legal action against those who disseminated the images and against the platforms, if they have not removed the images promptly after notification. Also based on the Marco Civil, it is possible to obtain the connection records of the promoters, which helps to identify who is behind the crime, even if the account is anonymous or false.

If the victim is an adult, the penalty for anyone who disseminates a photo or video of pornography without consent is 1 to 5 years in prison. If the victim is a child or teenager, according to the ECA, whoever discloses it is subject to a prison sentence of 3 to 6 years. If deepfakes are also characterized as “cyberbullying”, there are additional penalties of 2 to 4 years in prison.

It is worth noting that the law does not differentiate whether the scene is real or not. Many lawyers (including this columnist) argue that the current text already applies to deepfakes.

Unfortunately, most pornographic deepfakes today are made at school involving minors. They are colleagues trying to make fun of someone, usually women. For this reason, it is essential that parents and guardians talk to and educate their children about the topic. Making a pornographic deep fake can take less than 5 minutes. A drop compared to the ocean of damage and pain it can cause.

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