Tumblr To Issue Ban On “Creepshots” And “Deepfake” Pornography

Tumblr is notorious for a number of things, but one thing that really stands out are certain fake blogs containing extreme pornographic content. However, it seems that now Tumblr is finally going to do something about it.

The microblogging site has updated its guidelines on sexual imagery to “address new technologies that can be used to humiliate and threaten other people”.

In the site’s new guidelines, Tumblr addresses two developments involving sexual imagery which have come about from evolving technology, known as “creepshots” and “deepfakes”. But what do these terms actually mean, exactly?

A creepshot involves taking intimate photographs of women without their knowledge or consent while in public. An example of this would be Tumblr’s large number of “upskirt” blogs, where photographs are taken up a woman’s skirt without their consent, something politicians have been trying to ban.

Technology news site, Vice Motherboard, reported earlier this year that creepshot blogs were “rampant” on the social media platform. They also reported that particular blogs displayed photos taken in specific locations, whilst others provided detailed guides for stalkers to capture higher quality photographs in the “upskirts” market.

Source: Guiding Tech

A “deepfake” on the other hand, are videos created using artificial intelligence featuring realistic face swaps. These videos particularly involve celebrities “participating” in sexual activities, making it look as though it is them who’s doing the dirty deeds.

The deepfake technique has been used many times before to harass women by creating fake sex videos. It has also been used to create fake news and malicious hoaxes. Or so the mainstream media is reporting on these new advancements in technology, so as to do future damage control should anything really unsavoury appear.

However, most people could spot a “deepfake” from an authentic video, couldn’t they?

According to Variety, female celebrities including Emma Watson, Natalie Portman and Taylor Swift have already been victim to this type of online video harassment in the form of pornographic deepfakes.

Tumblr explained its approach to creepshots and deepfakes in their guidelines, adding “a simple statement” to its rules on harassment: “Don’t engage in the unwanted sexualisation or sexual harassment of others.” The new guidelines also cover other forms of potential harassment on the site.

“If we determine a post or blog is promoting hatred, glorifying violence, or is engaging in the unwanted sexualisation of another person, it will be taken down.” Tumblr stated. “This includes (for example) posting Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, or anti-LGBTQ+ content to promote or incite violence or hatred; using symbols of hate movements to intimidate or harass others; and the glorification of mass murderers.”

An example of the deepfake technique – Emma Watson’s face is pasted into a pornographic video.  Source: BBC

If you’ve been on Tumblr long enough, you’ll know that these kinds of blogs practically plague the entire platform, or can potentially ruin it for everyone else, whom are simply sharing content that isn’t deeply fake, creepy or illegal.

Now that Tumblr has finally acknowledged these problems, hopefully we’ll be seeing less and less of these sorts of things over time. For now, remember never to share that type of content, or better yet, steer well clear from those blogs altogether.


Story by Emily Clark

Featured Photo Credit: 1000 Logos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.