Recently, the hashtag #Deepfake_StrictPunishment has been trending in South Korea as many are calling for the harsh punishment of those that produce or consume such videos.
Statistics have shown that 25% of the victims are female K-Pop idols. One such site that exclusively caters to deepfake pornography consumers openly features idols on the page and even ranks them by popularity of views.
The petition to the Blue House calling for strict punishment has already over 200,000 signatures supporting it, despite having only been started on January 13, 2021.
Not only do these videos severely violate human rights and can be considered a form of sexual harassment, these videos are often sold as pay-per-view as well, with its creators profiting off the images of these idols. These videos are also openly spread on social media such as Twitter.
Speaking legally, Lawtalk advices that these videos are indeed a form of digital sexual violence. There is also a huge chance that many will unknowingly assume that the videos are real, instead of being altered digitally. However, in terms of punishment, it is likely that unless new laws are being put in place, these perpetrators will only be charged for slander and damage of reputation.
As the deepfake culture grows, it is getting more and more important and urgent for the government to take appropriate measures to protect the victims.