New York Lawmakers Pass AI-Generated Revenge Porn Ban

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New York Officials Pass Ban on AI-Generated Revenge Porn

New York Officials Pass Ban on AI-Generated Revenge Porn

Jul 28, 2023

New York lawmakers passed legislation that aims to ban revenge pornography which is generated through artificial intelligence.

Revenge porn is defined as nonconsensual sexually explicit images or videos of an individual which are posted on the internet – often distributed by an ex-intimate partner of the victim. As artificial intelligence (AI) has proliferated, fictitious intimate images created through the advancing technology have become an increasing threat. As a report from the New York Post noted, it is relatively easy for a perpetrator to “add someone’s face to the body of someone else in order to publicly humiliate them.”

Accordingly, elected officials in New York State approved a bill in June which would ban AI-generated revenge porn.

New York mandated a ban on revenge pornography in 2019 similar to California’s legislation which took effect in 2013. But the current laws do not specifically designate the distribution or posting of AI-generated nonconsensual intimate images as a crime.

With the passage of the New York legislation, AI-generated revenge porn violators could face up to a year in jail if Governor Kathy Hochul signs the bill into law. “A Hochul spokesman said she will review the newly-passed legislation before deciding to sign or veto the bill, which would take effect 60 days after being approved,” the New York Post said.

New York Senate Bill 1042A (S.1042) was approved by state Assembly Democrats in early June after the state Senate unanimously passed it on May 22.

“That [distribution of AI-generated revenge porn] can have a lifelong impact on someone because it’s on the web, it doesn’t come off easily. And so we needed to update the law,” Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale said after the legislation was passed. Paulin is one of the bill’s sponsors.

Paulin told the New York post that she proposed the bill in February 2023 “after reading about the increasing dangers of people using artificial intelligence to generate fake pornographic images.”

“But once I introduced the bill, I heard from constituents and I heard from a broader base of people,” she added.

The New York S.1042 bill is considered to be a reinforcement of protections following then-Governor Andrew Cuomo signing a broad ban on unlawful publication of intimate images in 2019.

How Common is AI-Generated Revenge Porn or ‘Deepfakes?’

The University of Pennsylvania defines deepfakes as:

“Visual content created using AI technology, which anyone can access through apps and websites. The technology can use deep learning algorithms that are trained to remove clothes from images of women, and replace them with images of naked body parts.”

In 2019, there were 14,678 deepfake videos online – 96% of which were pornographic. According to research from Deeptrace Labs, at that time, all of those deepfakes featured women.

“Creating fake erotic images is not inherently bad; online spaces can be a great way to explore and enjoy your sexuality. However, when fake nude images of people are created and distributed without their consent, it becomes deeply harmful,” the University of Pennsylvania report said.

These synthetic sexual images are AI-generated, in that they are not depicting real events, but they are trained on images of real people, many of which are shared non-consensually. In online spaces, it is difficult to disentangle consensually from non-consensually distributed images.”

A report from MIT confirms that the vast majority of deepfake videos which can be found online are nonconsensual or revenge porn.

… between 90% and 95% of them [deepfake videos] are nonconsensual porn. About 90% of that is nonconsensual porn of women,” according to MIT.

This is a violence-against-women issue,” Adam Dodge, the founder of EndTAB, a nonprofit that educates people about technology-enabled abuse, told MIT.

“In its consequences, this type of violation can be as devastating as revenge porn-real intimate photos released without consent. This takes a well-documented toll on victims. In some cases, they’ve had to change their names. In others, they’ve had to completely remove themselves from the internet. They constantly fear being retraumatized, because at any moment the images could resurface and once again ruin their lives,” MIT’s report added.

Can You Sue After Revenge Porn?

Both New York and California offer survivors of revenge porn the opportunity to sue for damages through civil lawsuits.

California became the first state to outlaw revenge porn in 2013, and New York followed suit in 2019.

As a result, if you’ve been victimized through the dissemination of nonconsensual intimate online images (revenge porn or deepfakes), you may be eligible to recover financial compensation through a cash settlement which includes various damages:

  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological harm
  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages
  • Lost wages or reduced ability to earn future wages

If you experienced a sexual assault incident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

If you would like to speak to a revenge porn attorney to discuss your case, contact Dordulian Law Group (DLG) today for a free consultation at 866-GO-SEE-SAM. DLG is led by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor who recently appeared on the Dr. Phil Show with survivors of revenge porn to discuss how to obtain justice after this type of crime occurs.

Survivors of revenge porn and deepfake content distribution have options for justice under California and New York law. Contact DLG today to learn more.


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