Pin It
scarlett johansson
Scarlett wears satin bomber jacket from Carlo Manzi and jeans by Levi's 501Photography by Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Styling by Jacob K

‘The internet is a vast wormhole of darkness,’ Scarlett Johansson confirms

Deepfakes of the actress have popped up online, forcing her to speak out

As with every advance in technology, it was only a matter of time before AI led to exploitation and nowhere is that more apparent than the rise in harmful deepfakes.

In an interview with the Washington PostScarlett Johansson spoke about how extremely realistic fake pornography was being used to harass women. And she doesn’t have much hope that women can protect themselves against fake revenge porn online which she suggested was a “virtually lawless abyss”.

“Nothing can stop someone from cutting and pasting my image or anyone else’s onto a different body and making it look as eerily realistic as desired,” she said before adding that it was only “a matter of time before any one person is targeted”.

“The fact is that trying to protect yourself from the Internet and its depravity is basically a lost cause... the Internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself,” she continued.

Her frankness probably stems from the fact that there are dozens of fake sex scenes of her floating around on porn sites, mislabelled as leaks. However, it is not just celebrities that have been targeted.

Last year, we reported on how the technology was ruining the lives of politically outspoken women. A 34-year-old journalist criticised the prime minister of India and later found sexual videos of herself online. “By the next day it was on my father’s phone, my brother’s,” Rana Ayyub explained.

As of last year, Google has added “involuntary synthetic pornographic imagery” to the site’s ban list meaning that victims can block results that depict them in sexually explicit situations. In addition to this, scientists are fighting deepfakes by developing their own AI that can detect and therefore combat deepfaked scenes online.

Researchers at the State University of New York figured out that, even though the videos appear to be realistic, more human behaviours and physical quirks like blinking and breathing were usually absent since the technology replicates still images rather than videos.  

With prominent figures like Scarlett Johansson speaking out against the technology, more might be done to protect other women from their images being used and spread beyond their control.