top of page
  • Voltaire Staff

Italian PM Meloni approaches court over deepfake porn videos featuring her



Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is pursuing a legal action over the appearance of deepfake pornographic videos featuring her, aiming to claim approximately $112,315 in damages (€100,000 converted to USD).


The scandal involves two individuals, a 74-year-old father and his 40-year-old son, who stand accused of orchestrating the creation and distribution of these illicit materials, according to the UK news website Independent.

 

Detectives successfully traced the origin of the offensive content to a specific mobile device used for uploading the videos. The suspects now face allegations of defamation, a charge with potential custodial sentences under Italian legal statutes.


The videos in question, originating from 2022, predate Meloni's appointment as prime minister. They were uploaded to a US pornographic website and garnered millions of views over several months.


The Italian PM is scheduled to testify in a court in Sassari, Sardinia on July 2 in the matter. If her claim proves successful, she said she would donate the sum granted in damages to a fund aiding women who have suffered from male violence, her legal representatives confirmed, according to reports.


"Deepfakes," a term referring to digitally manipulated images or videos, often used for deceptive purpose. The technology in this instance was used to superimpose the face of Giorgia Meloni onto another person's body.


With advancements in AI, deepfakes are now more common and lifelike. Celebrities are frequent targets of those creating these deceptive videos and images.


Recently, US popstar Taylor Swift found her explicit images surfacing on social media and chatrooms, so did Indian actor Rashmika Mandanna.


According to US media reports, posts featuring these images garnered over 27 million views and 260,000 likes within 19 hours before the account responsible was suspended.


The offensive nature of the images and the delay in their removal sparked outrage among Swift's fans and others.


Research by cybersecurity firm Deeptrace found that 96 per cent of deepfake videos are non-consensual pornography, with women being the target in all of these cases.


Maria Giulia Marongiu, representing Meloni, described the requested sum as "symbolic," aiming to "send a message to women who are victims of this kind of abuse of power not to be afraid to press charges."


The sharing of deepfake images was made a criminal offence in the UK in 2023.


Italy is poised to introduce legislation to regulate AI later this month, following closely behind the EU's landmark AI Act recently approved by the European Parliament.


While deepfakes remain legal in Europe under the new AI regulations, content creators must disclose their origins transparently.


Additionally, the EU mandates large tech platforms like TikTok, X, and Facebook to label AI-generated content under its Digital Services Act.

Comentarios


bottom of page