As AI-generated content is on the rise and easier to make than ever, a new Louisiana law is combating a disturbing trend that is more prevalent than you may think, especially when it comes to minors.

As of August 1, a new Louisiana law, Act 457, has been put into effect to combat the rise of deepfake pornography, a disturbing form of synthetic media that superimposes someone's likeness onto another individual's body, often engaging in sexual acts without their consent, particularly targeting minors. The legislation aims to curb the spread and creation of such explicit content that exploits individuals without their knowledge or approval.

According to KTAL, Lieutenant Matt Gaydos of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office stated, "It's basically porn, is basically what it is. This prohibits the manufacturing and distribution of stuff like that, and it also, when it comes to juveniles or minors, the penalties for doing this are increased significantly."

Act 457 enforces strict penalties for those found guilty of violating the law. Perpetrators could face imprisonment with hard labor ranging from five to twenty years, with no possibility of parole, probation, or suspension. Additionally, a fine of at least ten thousand dollars may also be imposed on offenders.

The legislation was signed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards as a response to the alarming rise of AI-generated content, especially deepfake pornography. These hyper-realistic synthetic media creations have become more accessible due to easy-to-use tools, leading to an exponential increase in explicit and non-consensual deepfake videos primarily targeting women.

Synthetic media expert Henry Ajder and his colleagues found that in 2019, a staggering 96% of the 14,000 deepfake videos found online were pornographic. Since then, the numbers have likely grown exponentially, with millions of women potentially becoming victims of image-based sexual abuse.

Dr. Mary Anne Franks, a law professor and president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, emphasized the devastating consequences of this content. Apart from the psychological harm caused, victims often face economic repercussions and online harassment, requiring increased security measures in their daily lives.

Notably, Gibi, a popular YouTuber, shared her harrowing experience of being digitally manipulated into explicit content without her consent, highlighting the distressing reality faced by many victims. This form of abuse can be incredibly challenging to undo once it spreads online.

While the burden of seeking justice should not fall on the victims, experts like Dr. Franks advocate for effective deterrence through clear criminal prohibitions. The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative focuses on deterring such behavior before it occurs, ensuring that potential offenders are aware of the serious penalties they may face.

Authorities encourage anyone who discovers a deepfake of themselves or someone they know to report it immediately by contacting their local law enforcement agency. The implementation of Act 457 marks a crucial step in protecting individuals from the damaging effects of deepfake pornography and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.

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