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Italian PM Meloni seeks compensation over deepfake pornography videos

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NEW DELHI: The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is seeking over $100,000 in damages in a defamation case against two men accused of creating deepfake pornography videos of her, which gained millions of views online, as several outlets reported on Wednesday.
The defendants, a 40-year-old man and his 73-year-old father, face defamation charges for superimposing Meloni’s face onto someone else’s body and sharing the videos on an adult content site in the US.The deepfake videos, uploaded before Meloni became Prime Minister in 2022, are at the center of the legal battle, as reported by the BBC.
Meloni’s lawyer stated that the damages sought, approximately $108,500, are ‘symbolic’ and would support female abuse victims if the case is won. The investigation into this matter commenced in 2020, with some defamation cases in Italy carrying the possibility of imprisonment. In her complaint, Meloni aims to encourage all women who face such abuses to come forward without fear.
The prevalence of pornographic deepfake content online is staggering, with 96% of such material being of a sexual nature, as reported by the Guardian. Celebrities like Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Bell, Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot, Michelle Obama, and Kate Middleton have all been victims of having their images manipulated into pornographic videos and shared online. These instances highlight the growing concern of misuse of technology to exploit individuals.
The legal battle initiated by the Italian Prime Minister Meloni sheds light on the need to address and combat the spread of deepfake content. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting individuals from such malicious acts and the significance of seeking justice in the face of technological abuse.

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