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China Bans Deepfakes In New Content Crackdown

Beginning on January 1, any published deepfake videos created with AI or VR not explicitly labeled will be illegal in China. Content providers will be liable for prosecution and will be expected to police the system. A spokesperson for the government outlined risks involved with deepfakes, including their ability to endanger national security, disrupt social order, and undermine social stability. Although deepfakes in China are not typically created for political purposes, they have grown popular with the rise of apps like ZAO. 

ZAO allows users to swap their faces for celebrities, attracting millions of users, while other sites offer a darker service: creating deepfake porn that photoshops a character of choice, even a non-celebrity, onto the body of a porn star. Deepfakes are under investigation in the US as well and have been criminalized in the state of California. 

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