If you’re over the age of 18 and on the internet, you have probably seen them. Ads and pop-ups in the corners of gaming and amateur news websites depicting various celebrities going into graphic poses, explicit positions, and spouting sexual rhetoric. More adventurous, so to speak, internet explorers will probably be familiar with pornographic content of the same nature. Celebrity faces, like Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart, are pasted onto the bodies of porn stars in various videos, pictures and other forms of pornographic media on the internet. Recently, however, many websites are now removing and banning these types of images and video from their platforms.
The degrading practice of merging one person’s face onto the body of a porn star gained popularity when the software company, FakeApps released a free tool which allowed users to do just that. FakeApp has reportedly been downloaded almost millions of times. Given the general nature of internet users looking for instant gratification of all sorts, users submitted pornographic and other mature websites plenty of content to publish since then. Popular media sharing platform, Gfycat claims the material is “objectionable,” however, Reddit has yet to comment on the subject.
The app works by utilizing an algorithm to remove the actress’s original face and replace it with a chosen celebrity’s likeness. The same technology has been used to create humorous videos of Barack Obama, as well. Moreover, the app has been used maliciously against the faces of Jennifer Anniston, Kim Kardashian, and even Ariana Grande, who has entire websites dedicated to producing fake pornographic content meshed with her attractive appearance.
While this is not the end of offensive material on the internet, awareness is the first step to a better future. With websites removing and ceasing to accept content of this type, empathy and understanding are better promoted. The act of merging anyone’s face onto a pornographic image or video is not only a breach of that person’s privacy, but also enables the itemization of women, everywhere.