Giorgia Meloni takes deepfakes seriously

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is taking legal action against creators of deepfake pornographic videos that were shared online without her consent. She is seeking €100,000 in damages, aiming to send a message to victims of such abuse not to hesitate in seeking justice.

The videos, which emerged in 2022 before Meloni became Prime Minister, involved digitally altering her face onto explicit content. Authorities have charged a 40-year-old man and his 73-year-old father with defamation for their involvement.

Police tracked the upload back to a smartphone, leading to the identification of the accused. In Italy, defamation can lead to criminal charges, potentially resulting in jail time.

Meloni’s legal team has clarified that the damages request is symbolic, and she plans to donate the entire amount to organizations supporting victims of gender-based violence. Her lawyer emphasized the importance of encouraging victims to come forward.

Deepfakes, which use AI to create realistic but fake audio and video content, pose a growing threat to public trust and information integrity. They can be used to spread misinformation and damage reputations by depicting individuals doing or saying things they never did.

Global leaders are increasingly concerned about the misuse of deepfake technology and its potential to spread disinformation. As AI continues to advance, addressing these concerns becomes crucial in safeguarding against its harmful effects.

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