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The Italian Data Protection Authority has started an investigation into the widespread use of bots that generate fake nude images on messaging app Telegram. The news follows an investigation by security firm Sensity, which found that as of July 2020 more than 100,000 faked images had been generated and shared in public Telegram channels.
The bots can generate fake nudes that have watermarks or that show only partial nudity, and users pay to “reveal” the whole image. Users could submit a photo of a woman to the bot and receive a version of the photo back with clothing “removed” and no indication that the image had been altered. And according to Sensity, a limited number of the bot-generated images, most of which are pulled from social media accounts and then manipulated, are of victims who “appeared to be underage.”
Sensity found that the fake nudes were generated by the
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Computer users sit near a monitor display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the internet at an internet cafe in Beijing. Photo: AP
A deepfake face-swapping tool, which can superimpose anyone’s face into scenes from films, was ordered to disappear in China earlier this year, according to the country’s internet watchdog. It joins dozens of other apps and websites that have come under fire from authorities, including an online school accused of encouraging teenage romance.
In its latest progress report, the Cyberspace Administration of China said it ordered the removal of a number of apps accused of “disseminating politically harmful content”. Among them was Reface, a freemium app that can generate deepfake video clips from a single photo.
By Tuesday evening, Reface remained available in Apple’s iOS App Store in China, but it could not be found in Chinese Android app stores run by