Deepfakes, an increasingly sophisticated yet frightening new technology, have been increasingly making headlines in the past few years, and now a new BBC documentary will be shining a light on one of the most disturbing uses of it.

Deepfake Porn: You Could Be Next is an investigation into how this powerful technology is being used in order to make hardcore porn videos without the consent of its victims, with damaging effects.

Deepfaking uses AI to merge videos or images together, and usually involves putting someone’s face and features on someone else’s body. Similar technology has grown in use in films to make characters appear younger or even “resurrect” dead actors, and deepfakes have grown a homegrown community where they can be used for fun, like, say, putting Henry Cavill’s face on Daniel Craig to make him James Bond. But it’s also increasingly used nefariously, like making fake videos of political opponents to try and discredit or incriminate them.

However, the largest amateur use of the technology is to make “deepfake porn”, ie putting someone’s face into a pornographic video, and these have been estimated to make up over 90% of deepfakes online. While some actresses have drawn attention to the damage this can cause after deepfakes of them were reported, it remains an ongoing problem. Deepfake Porn: You Could Be Next, which aired on last Monday on BBC Three and is now on iPlayer, sees presenter Jess Davies investigates how this impacts and affects women, both famous and not.

Deepfake Porn: You Could Be Next, which aired on last Monday on BBC Three and is now on iPlayer, sees presenter Jess Davies investigates how this impacts and affects women, both famous and not.

One of the interviewees Davies talks to is Dina, a woman who found that a colleague had made deepfake porn of her. The incident left Dina feeling violated- but due to a lack of any laws against creating deepfake porn, there was little she was able to do. Davies also talks to Florida state senator Lauren Book, who had nude images stolen from her, and campaigned to get them back, and campaigner Kate Isaacs, based in the UK.

She even speaks to several figures who run sites that host deepfake porn, and when she raises the issue of ethics around creating non consensual deepfake porn, they argue that since there’s no laws or legislation outlawing it, there’s no reason for them to not continue.

The doc first aired on Monday 12th September, but repeated on BBC Three on Saturday 17th September, and is now available on BBC iPlayer.

DEEPFAKE PORN: YOU COULD BE NEXT IS AVAILABLE NOW ON IPLAYER


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