X lifts ban on Taylor Swift searches following viral fake explicit images


The social media platform X has lifted the ban on searches for Taylor Swift after blocking users from searching for her following the widespread of fake sexually explicit images of the pop singer on the app.

The decision to reactivate searches for Swift was announced on January 29, 2024 by Joe Benarroch, Head of Business Operations at X, who affirmed the company’s commitment to vigilant monitoring.

According to him, the search has been reactivated and the social media platform will continue to be vigilant for any attempt to spread this content and will remove it if they find any.

The FactCheckHub had earlier reported how attempts to search for Taylor Swift on the platform led to varying error messages such as “Something went wrong”, and “Try reloading” on the app.

READ MORE: X bans searches for Taylor Swift amidst circulation of her explicit AI photo

The enforcement of the temporary ban followed the circulation of explicit AI-generated images of Swift, prompting swift action from the firm.

This development garnered significant attention, even drawing remarks from the U.S. White House, which labelled the spread of fake imagery as “alarming” and emphasized the responsibility of social media companies to combat misinformation.

The FactCheckHub reported that White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated on January 26, 2024, that the circulation of the obscene photographs were extremely worrying and that every effort will be made to address the matter.

ALSO READ: Some deep fakes, AI-generated contents to watch out for in 2024

“So, while social media companies make their own independent decisions about content management, we believe they have an important role to play in enforcing their own rules to prevent the spread of misinformation, and non-consensual, intimate imagery of real people,” she stated.

In an earlier report, The FactCheckHub examined new patterns in which deepfakes and AI-generated content might play out in 2024 including cyber bullying.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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