HomeWorldItaly PM Giorgia Meloni Seeks Over $100,000 In Damages Over Deepfake Videos

Italy PM Giorgia Meloni Seeks Over $100,000 In Damages Over Deepfake Videos


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Ms Meloni will testify before a court on July 2.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is seeking 100,000 euros ($109,345) in damages after deepfake porn videos of her were created and circulated online. Investigators claim that the two men made pornographic videos of Ms Meloni by superimposing her face on another person’s body and then uploaded them on the internet. The 40-year-old man and his 73-year-old father are charged with defamation, according to the BBC.

According to the police, they were able to locate them by tracking the smartphone that was used to upload the videos. The deepfake video in question dates back to 2022, before she was appointed as the country’s Prime Minister. 

Notably, certain defamation cases in Italy may be criminal and result in a jail sentence. Ms Meloni will testify before a court on 2 July. The indictment claims that the videos were uploaded on a pornographic website in the United States and watched “millions of times” over several months.

The legal team of the Italian PM said that the request for damages was “symbolic”. They added that Ms Meloni would donate the entire amount to “support women who have been victims of male violence.” Maria Giulia Marongiu, Ms Meloni’s lawyer, said the demand for the compensation will “send a message to women who are victims of this kind of abuse of power not to be afraid to press charges.”

A deepfake is a type of synthetic media that uses artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content, often with a malicious motive, to appear authentic.

The word “deepfake” originally appeared in late 2017, according to MIT, when a user of the same name on Reddit established a platform for sharing pornographic videos made with open-source face-swapping technology. With deepfake, artificial intelligence (AI) is used to create photos or movies that appear to be fake occurrences. It uses a form of AI called deep learning to make images or videos of fake events. Deepfakes have become more realistic and commonplace due to advancements in artificial intelligence.

They have become a danger to public confidence and the truth. Deepfakes are a powerful tool for spreading misinformation, twisting public opinion, and damaging reputations because they can be used to create convincing audio and video recordings of individuals saying or doing things they never did. Many world leaders have expressed their concern about the growing nature of deepfakes.

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