The UK’s controversial Online Safety Bill has a section that would make sharing “pornographic deepfakes” without consent a criminal offense in England and Wales. This would involve digitally putting someone’s face on a naked body.
The bill seeks to address the rise in manipulated explicit images, where a person’s face is superimposed on another person’s body.
Current legislation requires proving that the images were shared to “cause distress.”
However, the proposed law does not require the prosecution to prove that someone intended to cause harm, potentially leaving the door open for jokes to be prosecuted.
According to the government, one in 14 people in England and Wales have been threatened with their intimate images being shared online. It added that there is a global concern about deepfake technology being used to create fake pornographic images. A website that creates nudes from clothed photos had 38 million visits in 2021.