The White House reacted Friday to the explicit, AI-generated images of music superstar Taylor Swift that had gone viral this week, calling it “alarming” and leaning on Congress for a legislative crackdown.
“We are alarmed by the reports of the circulation of images… of false images to be more exact. And it is alarming,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at the White House press briefing. “So while social media companies make their own independent decisions about content management, we believe they have an important role to play in enforcing their own rules to prevent the spread of misinformation and non-consensual, intimate imagery of real people.”
Jean-Pierre said the “lax enforcement” of non-consensual pornographic imagery that surfaces online “disproportionately impacts women” and “girls sadly,” saying they are the “overwhelming targets of online harassment and also abuse.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the viral AI-generated explicit images of Taylor Swift “alarming.” (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
“So the president is committed, as you know, to ensuring we reduce the risk of generative AI producing images like through his latest executive order that we announced just in the fall of last year. So this problem is not new,” the Biden spokeswoman continued. “And it’s one that the Biden-Harris administration has been prioritizing since day one. We have taken this very seriously. Again, this is alarming to us. As you know, he launched a task force to address online harassment and abuse… The Department of Justice launched the first national 24/7 helpline for survivors of image-based sexual abuse.”
When asked whether there should be legislation to combat such AI-generated imagery, Jean-Pierre quickly responded, “Yeah.”
“There should be legislation, obviously, to deal with this issue,” Jean-Pierre said. “Of course, Congress should take legislative action. That’s how you deal with some of these issues, obviously. But you know, it is alarming to us and we’re gonna continue to do what we can from the federal government.”
Fans of superstar Taylor Swift expressed outrage over AI-generated explicit images of her that had gone viral. (Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
The SAG-AFTRA actors union also released a statement denouncing the false images of Swift.
“The sexually explicit, A.I.-generated images depicting Taylor Swift are upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. “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.”
The group added, “SAG-AFTRA continues to support legislation by Congressman Joe Morelle, the Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act, to make sure we stop exploitation of this nature from happening again. We support Taylor, and women everywhere who are the victims of this kind of theft of their privacy and right to autonomy.”
Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com and on Twitter: @JosephWulfsohn.