HomeEntertainmentBobbi Althoff was a victim of deepfake AI porn. 'This world...

Bobbi Althoff was a victim of deepfake AI porn. ‘This world is scary. It’s getting scarier,” she says.

When Bobbi Althoff saw that she was trending on Twitter in February, she thought it was because of her podcast.

The really good podcast host and social media influencer, 26, who is known for her deadpan interviews with celebrities, had recently interviewed rapper Wiz Khalifa and she wanted to check if people were talking about the episode. After all, the two had smoked together and the rapper had coached her “through getting high.”

She soon discovered that the conversation was about something completely different. Turns out deepfake videos of AI-generated pornography featuring Althoff’s image were circulating on X.

“I thought, ‘What the fuck is this? That’s not my podcast,” Althoff told Yahoo Entertainment at an event for Hasbro’s new card game Fork, Milk, Kidnap.

Deepfake images and videos have become an increasing problem for celebrities and non-celebrities alike, with the X platform specifically being called out for a lack of oversight, similar to notoriously toxic and anonymous message boards like 4chan. According to the Washington Post, the clip was viewed more than 4.5 million times on X in just nine hours.

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A representative for X did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

Not only have people like Taylor Swift fallen victim to fake and non-consensual images being spread to the masses, but underage students have also had to face the problem.

While some images look noticeably AI-generated (too many fingers on each hand, for example), others are more subtle and can confuse viewers.

“I immediately thought: ‘That looks so fake. Nobody will believe that. So I brushed it off like no biggie,” Althoff said.

Many online users believed it, but so did her own team, who immediately messaged her.

“They said, ‘Bobbi, if you have a moment, please call us,’” she recalled.

It was the serious tone that caught the podcast host and comedian’s attention, who called them back to discuss what was going on.

“They said, ‘We just have to ask ourselves, is what we saw online real?’” Althoff said they asked.

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“There’s no way you guys thought this was real,” she replied.

Hearing this from people she worked closely with, Althoff understood how much of an impact these deepfake images had on the general public.

“Then it really started to sink in that people believed that, and it was really devastating,” she said. “I was like, ‘There’s no way people can believe this about me,’ and they did.”

While there is no federal law regulating deepfake porn, some states have taken steps on their own to combat the growing problem, such as Missouri with its proposed “Taylor Swift Act.” In addition to the state legislation, a bill known as the DEFIANCE Act of 2024 has been introduced in Congress that would “improve the right to relief for individuals affected by non-consensual activities involving intimate digital counterfeits.”

Despite these efforts to regulate non-consensual AI-generated images, one of the challenges comes from identifying who created these images in the first place, as many images come from anonymous message boards.

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In February, the day after Althoff’s deepfake footage originally appeared on the platform, independent internet researcher Genevieve Oh told NBC News that she had “followed more than 40 posts on X containing the Althoff deepfake video or links to the material.” ” At the time of this reporting, only one of the posts had been removed for violating X’s rules. Oh did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.

As a mother of two young daughters who has been posting parts of her parenting journey for her 7.4 million TikTok followers, Althoff said she’s especially concerned.

“AI is scary,” she told Yahoo Entertainment. “I’m with my kids and I’m like, ‘You guys are going to have a hard time. Good luck.’ It’s going to suck. This world is scary. It’s getting scarier.”

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