Following the spread of AI-generated, sexually explicit photos of Taylor Swift, the White House is speaking out and calling for legislation to protect victims on online harassment.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the incident “alarming,” and that the negatives of AI is something that the Biden administration is focusing on. “Of course Congress should take legislative action,” Jean-Pierre said, according to The Verge. “That’s how you deal with some of these issues.”
A post featuring the images shared to X on Wednesday night (Jan. 25) was viewed 47 million times before the account was eventually suspended on Thursday. X went on to shut down several accounts that posted the fake images, but the photos have since been shared on other social media platforms. “Protect Taylor Swift” soon began trending on X.
Jean-Pierre also said that social media companies “have an important role to play in enforcing their own rules” to prevent this type of harassment. “We know that lax enforcement disproportionately impacts women and also girls, sadly, who are the overwhelming targets of online harassment and also abuse.”
SAG-AFTRA also released a statement on the matter, writing, “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 actor’s union called the images “upsetting, harmful, and deeply concerning.”