February 23, 2024

The past week has been hellish for Taylor Swift and her fans. After explicit Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated images of the Grammy winner surfaced online, Swifties and the singer herself fought back. According to reports, Swifties started the #protectTaylorSwift trend on X, which went viral on social media and led authorities to get involved.

While Taylor Swift herself may sue people who have shared the suggestive photographs, per DailyMail; X and Meta have blocked searches for the images. Terms such as “Taylor Swift”, “Taylor Swift AI” and “Taylor AI”, can’t be searched. But this is not it: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the White House have also called for new legislation.

In a statement, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierres the incident is “alarming”, and said they would pass laws to handle such situations. “Of course, Congress should take legislative action,” Karine said, “That’s how you deal with some of these issues.” She added, “But you know, it is alarming to us, and we’re going to continue to do what we can from the federal government.”

As for Nadellla, the CEO said, “I think it behoves us to move fast on this.” He added that the “alarming and terrible” incident calls for “guardrails”, to ensure only safe content is created online. He added, “But it is about global, societal — you know, I’ll say, convergence on certain norms. And we can do — especially when you have law and law enforcement and tech platforms that can come together — I think we can govern a lot more than we think— we give ourselves credit for.”

While many netizens have supported Swift, some have condemned the White House for not giving as much attention to Gaza. Soon after Karine’s statement, people took to X to highlight the different ways both topics have been handled so far.

“Response time for White House to Taylor Swift AI (a very disgusting thing): 00000001 seconds. Response time for genocide in Gaza: currently at 100+ days and pending,” said one user.

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Another pointed out, “One other thing that is being made apparent by this whole Taylor Swift AI photo situation is the role public figures play in shifting politics. So when you’re like “celebrities can’t change what’s happening in Gaza”, think about this situation right here.”

“The White House is ‘alarmed’ about AI Taylor Swift pornos,” said a third user, “but completely fine with a GENOCIDE in Gaza which has left 12,000 Palestinian children dead.”

While the rise of deep fakes and AI images has increased by 550% since 2019, it is only now that the government has spoken about it in detail. Last year, when SAG-AFTRA and WAG writers were fighting against the use of AI, which affected the livelihoods of actors and writers alike, the matter was still not taken that seriously. However, with Swift’s involvement, who has made billions of dollars for the US economy, the use of AI is being taken seriously.

As per reports, the White House has shown unwavering support for Israel. The International Court of Justice’s preliminary order, too, has asked Israel to prevent the genocide while allowing aid into the Strip. Meanwhile, the White House has not called for a ceasefire and continues to support Israel with weapons. The justification for this has been that such a measure like this would help Hamas.

The death toll in Gaza has reached over 25,000; of them, about 10,000 are children. Reports have also said Gaza faces manmade famine and the rise of Hepatitis A and other water-borne diseases. According to the Health Ministry, about 2,35,000 people contracted pneumonia, and 3,00,000 have diarrhea from contaminated water.

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