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Newbury MP Laura Farris calls sexually explicit deepfake images ‘inherently misogynistic’ as creation becomes criminal offence





It will now be a criminal offence to create a sexually explicit deepfake image.

Deepfakes are digitally manipulated images and videos that alter a person’s face or body so that they appear to be somebody else.

Newbury MP and minister for victims and safeguarding Laura Farris
Newbury MP and minister for victims and safeguarding Laura Farris

These artificial intelligence images are typically created to spread misinformation or are sexually explicit and made without consent.

Last year, reforms in the Online Safety Act criminalised the sharing of ‘deepfake’ intimate images for the first time.

But now it will now be illegal to create one, regardless if the creator intends to share it or not.

Under the new offence, those who create these images without consent face a criminal record and an unlimited fine.

If the image is then shared more widely offenders could be sent to jail.

Newbury MP and minister for victims and safeguarding Laura Farris called the Government move a “crystal clear message” that the creation of such material is a crime.

She said: “The creation of deepfake sexual images is inherently misogynistic and completely unacceptable, irrespective of whether the image is shared.

“It is another example of ways in which certain people seek to degrade and dehumanise others – especially women.

“And it has the capacity to cause catastrophic consequences if the material is shared more widely.

“This Government will not tolerate it.”

She added: “This new offence sends a crystal clear message that making this material is immoral, misogynistic, and a crime”.

The law will also strengthen existing offences.

If a person both creates this kind of image and then shares it, the CPS could charge them with two offences, potentially leading to their sentence being increased.

Many celebrities have been victims of deepfake images including Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman and former Love Island contestant Cally Jane Beech.

The reality star and campaigner said: “This new offence is a huge step in further strengthening of the laws around deepfakes to better protect women.

“What I endured went beyond embarrassment or inconvenience.”

She added: “Too many women continue to have their privacy, dignity, and identity compromised by malicious individuals in this way and it has to stop.

“People who do this need to be held accountable.”

These changes to the Criminal Justice Bill build on the existing ‘upskirting’ offence.



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