Singer Taylor Swift’s profile on X has been unreachable for more than a day, after search results for her name were blocked from the platform. This action came after fake sexually explicit images of the pop singer started circulating on social media. The head of business operations for the platform, owned by Elon Musk, stated that the action was temporary and done with an abundance of caution to prioritize safety. This incident has garnered attention from the White House, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre terming the fake images “alarming.”
The issue has raised concerns about deepfake incidents and the spread of misinformation on social media platforms. In fact, in a similar incident with actress Rashmika Mandanna in India, the state and central government issued an advisory for social media platforms to remove deepfakes and misinformation, or face action for such content. The White House has also pinned the responsibility on social media companies, stating that they have a responsibility to prevent the spread of such misinformation.
The lapses in content moderation on social media platforms have been attributed to the lower content moderation efforts being made. This has also led to criticism of Elon Musk’s content moderation policies since taking over the platform in a $44 billion deal in 2022. Several advertisers have pulled back from spending on the platform due to the likelihood of appearing next to harmful posts.
In response to these concerns, the platform has come up with a “freedom of speech, not reach” policy which refrains from deleting harmful posts but restricts their reach. Despite these challenges, the overwhelming majority of content views on the platform are of “healthy” posts.
In related news, Taylor Swift is reportedly attending a National Football League (NFL) playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, where she is said to be seeing Chiefs’ player Travis Kelce. Normally, the broadcasts of Chiefs games show Swift’s reactions.
Opinion: In the age of advanced technology, incidents like these show the potential dangers of deepfake technology and the spread of misinformation. It is crucial for social media platforms to prioritize safety and take strong measures to prevent the spread of harmful content.