Author Topic: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos  (Read 1220 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Online Eternally Learning

  • Master Mr. a.k.a. Methodical Loaf
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9109
  • Break a leg, badger!
    • Get Past The 140 Character Limit!
Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« on: June 28, 2019, 03:47:09 AM »
I'm sure most of us are familiar with the term "Deep Fake" but for those who aren't, it's a computer generated effect that is able to super impose the face of one person onto another in a way that's dynamic and very realistic.  It's not perfect yet, and results definitely vary but when it works, it is creepy as hell:



Obviously, there are a lot of concerning implications of this technology as it gets better and more convincing.  Sure, now it's easy enough to tell for the most part but eventually it may get to the point where you really have to dig for artifacts to tell and that could lead to all sorts of terrible uses like fake scandalous videos of politicians and other public figures to discredit them.  That's not really what I want to talk about though as I feel the morality of those acts are fairly cut and dry.  What I'm interested in is the other major use of this tech that has been going around increasingly, and that's deep faking famous celebrities faces onto porn actresses bodies.  I'm not a huge consumer of porn, but I've seen them appear more and more and I'm not quite sure what to think of them in terms of right and wrong.  I guess functionally, it's not any different than all the faked pictures that have been around for decades, and I've wondered something similar about sci-fi concepts such as the holodeck, but given that it's becoming increasingly cheap and convincing, I figure it's worth a deep dive.

I don't have a firm stance at this point and haven't really given it a lot of thought, so I'm just going to bullet some points/questions rather than try and craft an argument.  Before that though, I should say that this conversation presumes for the sake of argument, that porn is itself not immoral (assuming the freedom of choice of the performers and ethical business practices of course) as that would just be tangential to the conversation I'm trying to spark. 

  • If the celebrity being faked doesn't care then there doesn't seem to be a moral problem to me since there's no harm being done to anyone.  The only exception could be that others are profiting off of their likenesses without their permission, but that's more of a legal question I guess.
  • If the celebrity being faked does care and doesn't like it, the argument for harm done seems obvious, but then again what's the difference between a deep faked video (labelled as such) and cutting the person's head out of a magazine and pasting it onto a Playboy model?  Is it that a deep fake is being done and distributed while the cut and paste job is for personal use?  Is it that the cut and paste job likely will never be known about by the celebrity (even if they suspect it's been done)?  Is there a difference at all, functionally speaking?
  • Is there any concern about a violation of the celebrity's privacy considering that technically speaking, no one has seen them naked or in a sexual situation without their consent; it's all consensual performers getting compensated fairly (remember, assumed for the sake of argument).  Does a person have the right to object to someone using their publicly available image in a way they didn't intend?  Would profit be the deciding difference between it being OK and not?
  • Does the person being a public figure play into it at all?  What if, for instance, in the future this tech become so cheap and easily accessible that someone you know can run your social media accounts through it and deep fake your face into an existing porn video of their choice?  I mean, I think we all would be creeped out by that, but then again I'm sure their are people out their who similarly use innocently intended social media photos for the same purpose.  Is that immoral too?
  • Does the argument for harm disappear if the person being faked never finds out it was done?  There can be no harm done if they aren't aware enough to object or be creeped out right; so if there's no harm then is there no problem?  That said, how can anyone posting these videos online guarantee that the person would never find out, especially as the practice becomes more pervasive?  Again, would the difference between right and wrong come down to public vs private use?

I dunno, I'm sure there's more to think about but for me the conflict comes down to the fact that no matter what arguments I can conceive of in my mind to justify or allow unapproved deep fake porn, I can't get over the fact that it feels creepy as hell.  Honestly, the cut and paste jobs I referenced earlier seem similarly creepy to me.  Still, just because I have a negative emotional reaction doesn't mean it's an inherently immoral act so I'm trying to take a step back and think about it as thoroughly as possible.

Thoughts?

Offline Calinthalus

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6494
    • My Page
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 08:21:00 AM »
It is complicated.  I mean, I feel like it is creepy as hell so I know that I'm going to unconsciously look for reasons to say it is immoral.  I try to separate that as best I can.


If the celebrity is OK with it or has signed off in some way then I would have to say it's fine.  If not, then I can't find my way to thinking it's moral.  Maybe for personal use?  What I mean is, for instance, Jennifer Lawrence (who was caught up in the Fappening a coupe of years ago) has her likeness used for a deep-fake porn without her consent (it's probably already happened).  The distributor of this video is making money or personal celebrity on her fame.  Even though it's not really her, it is her likeness that's driving the market for the video itself, therefore it is riding on the shirttails of her fame without her consent.  That's theft even without considering the creepiness.


So, I think that's where I stand on it.  Non-consensual deepfakes of a sexual nature are immoral outright.  Non-sexual could be immoral depending on use-case.  Parody and social commentary using deepfakes with disclaimers could be fine; while "fake news" of someone talking about eating babies in order to vilify them would be immoral.


I would be interesting in opposing opinions since I'm aware I could be wrong here.
"I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image."
--Stephen Hawking

Online 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2831
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 10:01:27 AM »
I don't think it matters that it's pornography. Nor does their fame enter into it, that's more about whether it's okay to report news or do non-libelous parodies about them, etc.

It's either okay for you to use someone else's image, or it isn't. Usually it should be a requirement that you obtain their consent if it's going to be used commercially or large scale some other way. How you want to use it may affect whether they consent, or what price they want to charge you.

Personally I think we need much stricter regulations to prevent the use of people's information and data without consent, and it's the major corporate entities that need to be dealt with first. Children should be ruled out entirely, not just sexually. It should never be okay to use data you collect about minors to profit off of it, because they can't consent to it. Or possibly in medical research, but there should also be a lot more public investments and public ownership of medicine, and very strict regulations for how you use the private data in any case. Anonymizing medical data can in some cases be impossible.

Offline Calinthalus

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6494
    • My Page
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 10:40:17 AM »
The data used would be images.  Celebrities have mountains of images freely available on the internet.  What "regulations" do you think would stop this kind of thing?  Because I can't think of any that would work.
"I think computer viruses should count as life. Maybe it says something about human nature, that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. Talk about creating life in our own image."
--Stephen Hawking

Online 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2831
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2019, 10:51:09 AM »
The data used would be images.  Celebrities have mountains of images freely available on the internet.  What "regulations" do you think would stop this kind of thing?  Because I can't think of any that would work.

Just because the images exist, doesn't mean it should be okay to use them. Copyright law sort of works.

There's a convenient difference in severity and ability to do something about it, between random unknown people creating fakes for fun/trolling, and someone doing it commercially on an established platform. If you know who's doing it (or who's making money off of someone else's fakes by letting them use their platform, use their advertisers, etc.), then you can impose any level of reasonable punishment required.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 10:53:38 AM by 2397 »

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7883
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2019, 03:02:12 PM »
It is well-established in law that a person has the right of publicity (that is, the right to control the commercial use of his likeness). It’s why not just anyone can publish Derek Jeter memorabilia and why Michael Jackson’s and Elvis’ estates can continue to profit from licensing their images.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Online Eternally Learning

  • Master Mr. a.k.a. Methodical Loaf
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9109
  • Break a leg, badger!
    • Get Past The 140 Character Limit!
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2019, 03:19:36 PM »
Sure, but legality is hardly the same as morality. It might be illegal, but is it wrong?

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Too Much Spare Time
  • *****
  • Posts: 7883
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 12:12:58 AM »
Sure, but legality is hardly the same as morality. It might be illegal, but is it wrong?

I was responding to the posts immediately preceding mine, which were talking about legality and regulation. I apologize if that wasn’t clear.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Online Eternally Learning

  • Master Mr. a.k.a. Methodical Loaf
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9109
  • Break a leg, badger!
    • Get Past The 140 Character Limit!
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 01:23:36 AM »
Ah. No worries. Gotcha.

Online Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16198
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 03:01:38 PM »
Sure, but legality is hardly the same as morality. It might be illegal, but is it wrong?
I think there should be a basic expectation that people get reasonable control over their image.
There are issues with satire and criticism for fair use etc but I dont think profiting off of someones likeness in a piece of art without their consent is generally moral.
The decent thing would be to ask them and to respect their wishes.

Online Eternally Learning

  • Master Mr. a.k.a. Methodical Loaf
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9109
  • Break a leg, badger!
    • Get Past The 140 Character Limit!
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2019, 04:28:33 PM »
Sure, but legality is hardly the same as morality. It might be illegal, but is it wrong?
I think there should be a basic expectation that people get reasonable control over their image.
There are issues with satire and criticism for fair use etc but I dont think profiting off of someones likeness in a piece of art without their consent is generally moral.
The decent thing would be to ask them and to respect their wishes.

So then would you draw a line at public distribution or making money on that distribution, however indirectly?  Also, am I right to infer that you'd say there's nothing morally wrong with a deepfake for personal use?  If so, then what about people making money off a product that allows individuals to create their own deep fakes, assuming that it were restricted for personal use of course?

Online Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16198
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2019, 06:01:51 PM »
Sure, but legality is hardly the same as morality. It might be illegal, but is it wrong?
I think there should be a basic expectation that people get reasonable control over their image.
There are issues with satire and criticism for fair use etc but I dont think profiting off of someones likeness in a piece of art without their consent is generally moral.
The decent thing would be to ask them and to respect their wishes.

So then would you draw a line at public distribution or making money on that distribution, however indirectly?  Also, am I right to infer that you'd say there's nothing morally wrong with a deepfake for personal use?  If so, then what about people making money off a product that allows individuals to create their own deep fakes, assuming that it were restricted for personal use of course?
Yeah...I think deepfakes for personal use are probably ok? Its hard to distinguish between that and really good erotic art tbh. But a bit creepy if its someone you know.

Offline John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6556
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2019, 05:03:15 PM »
I'm far more concerned about the implications of a tech that allows unscrupulous 'activists' to convincingly put words into the mouths of political leaders.

Online Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16198
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2019, 05:12:49 PM »
I'm far more concerned about the implications of a tech that allows unscrupulous 'activists' to convincingly put words into the mouths of political leaders.
Yeah. It also makes it way harder to use the words of people like Trump against them because they can claim it was fake.

Offline John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6556
Re: Morality of "Deep Fakes" in pornos
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2019, 05:19:12 PM »
That is seriously dangerous, in an Orwellian sense.

 

personate-rain
personate-rain