Scarlett Johansson says trying to stop people making deepfake porn videos of her is a 'lost cause'

Scarlett Johansson'Avengers' actress Scarlett Johansson spoke to the Washington Post about how deep fakes are being weaponised against women.REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

  • Actress Scarlett Johansson spoke to the Washington Post about the rise of using deepfake technology to superimpose women's faces onto porn.
  • Deepfakes use AI software to collate pictures of a person and then graph their face onto footage of someone else.
  • Johansson has been the target of numerous deepfake porn videos, and said it is a "lost cause" trying to stop it.
  • Deepfake pornography has also been used to target women who are not famous.

Scarlett Johansson spoke to the Washington Post about how deepfake technology is being used to superimpose women's faces onto pornography, and said that trying to stop it is a "lost cause."

Deepfake technology works by training artificial intelligence software on images of a person. The software can then superimpose that person's face onto footage of someone else, or simulate them saying something they did not say.

Read more: A viral video that appeared to show Obama calling Trump a "dips---" shows a disturbing new trend called "deepfakes"

An article by the Washington Post highlighted that women are being disproportionately grafted onto pornographic videos.

Johansson has been the victim of multiple deepfake porn videos. The Post reported that one (which wrongly claimed to be genuine "leaked" footage) has garnered over 1.5 million views on a major porn site.

"Nothing can stop someone from cutting and pasting my image or anyone else's onto a different body and making it look as eerily realistic as desired," Johansson said.

"The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the Internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause... The Internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself".

Public figures like Johansson are not the only women to be targeted by deepfake pornography. The Post spoke to a woman, who chose to remain anonymous, who had been superimposed onto a porn video. She said she felt "violated."

"It's this weird feeling, like you want to tear everything off the Internet. But you know you can't," she said.

While still not entirely convincing, deepfake technology is quickly advancing. The aim of targeted pornography videos could be less to convince and more to humiliate and harass women.

The Post found that some users on discussion boards and private chats who claim to make videos by request, at roughly $20 per video.

The Post also tracked down the request which had resulted in the anonymous woman's video being made. The requester had supplied 491 photos of her face, many from her Facebook account.

Deepfake videos still exist in a legal limbo which makes it difficult for victims to track down perpetrators or remove content.

According to the Post, some experts believe the videos may be protected by the First Amendment, although they might also fall under the category of defamation, identity theft, or fraud.

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