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The Dark Side of Technological Advances

by Beth Divine 11 Apr 2018

Face Swap is fun and quirky feature of photo sharing apps and programs, such as Snapchat. While the effects are obviously unreal and are meant just for fun, this technology is being used for a somewhat darker purpose too.

Unscrupulous people are using celebrities’ faces and superimposing them onto other women’s (it is female stars who are predominantly targeted in these matters) bodies in porn films and VR porn films. While it may seem harmless, perhaps a bit of fun, or an ‘easy’ way to resolve or fulfil a long-cherished fantasy, it is really not an acceptable thing to do.

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This is for several reasons: Movie stars, especially nowadays when trial by social media and public opinion can ruin careers that have taken years and years to build up, have to be exceedingly careful with their public image. Some stars do have porn films out there from their early days, when work was scarce and they needed to eat – but they took part in them willingly, they know that these images are in the public domain and can take PR steps to handle them, and they are unlikely to deny all knowledge of the clips, should they surface.

Whereas movies made by digitally ‘stitching’ their faces onto other women’s bodies can contain upsetting and offensive content, can be out there on the internet for anyone to find without the supposed star even being aware that it exists, and, bluntly, is a massive invasion of the celebrity’s privacy.

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Having pornographic images and clips in existence can result in the celebrity losing work – denying having been in a film when it seems to exist will earn them a name for not only being less than morally upright, but also being a liar. When the celebrity is starting from a completely innocent and ignorant standpoint, it can be a bewildering, frustrating and anger-inducing time, until all the facts are laid out for understanding – imagine coming to work one day and being fired for ‘disgusting behaviour’ that no one will spell out to you because what you did was so clearly monstrous that you must be trying it on with your denials… Not a very pleasant thought but exactly the sort of thing that can happen and has happened in the past.

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The final point is one of morality. It is all a big, rather nasty con job. The celebrity is never asked for permission for their image to be used in such a way, they are therefore never compensated for it – and a celebrity’s image is very much tied up in their value, so using their image without permission or payment is literally theft, exactly the same as breaking into their house and stealing their belongings. It is usually never made clear that the person in the film is NOT actually the celebrity, thereby also tricking the paying public who perhaps pay a higher rate to see their favourite star in sexy action.

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All these points add up to make this sort of unscrupulous exploitation seem grubby and pathetic. Celebrities work hard to create their images – they are neither public property, nor objects to be used and discarded at will… Rather, enjoy steamy scenes with porn stars who are there willingly, whether as a classic movie or immersed in the VR action, and let your imagination do the rest!