By Patty Nieberg
The 9th annual Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium screened Another Body, directed by Sophie Compton, as its Spotlight screening.
The documentary follows “Taylor Klein,” a pseudonym used to protect the identity of a student and deepfake porn victim, who seeks to track down the identity of a predator who superimposed her face onto sex scenes in videos widely circulated on websites like PornHub.
Deepfakes manipulate facial appearances through generative artificial intelligence tools. Around 90 percent of deepfakes online involve nonconsensual sex videos, which superimpose women’s faces in digitally altered pornography, according to several studies. “There are 9,500 sites dedicated to non-consensual intimate imagery and the vast majority of them are hosted in the U.S. because the U.S. literally protects these sites,” Compton emphasized in the post-screening Q & A. “These sites literally only exist in order to humiliate, shame, harass, abuse women,” she added.
The documentary film plays with technology in its own way to tell Taylor’s story. She soon learns that the local police can’t do anything to help and that legal loopholes protect deepfake creators, giving them a free pass to graft the faces of women into sex videos, without their knowledge.
In the Q & A, Compton advocated for legislation that places more responsibility on tech companies for the content on their websites. She also called for a greater sense of urgency to acknowledge and address the misuse of artificial intelligence, which disproportionately affects women.
Compton referred to the campaign as a “digital #MeToo movement,” and noted that silencing and shaming keep many victims from addressing deepfake porn publicly. “Anything that we can do to refuse that shrinking – and be as loud, and truthful, and honest, and emotional – I think is the only way forward,” Compton said.
DOUBLE EXPOSURE is America’s first and only film festival dedicated to the burgeoning intersection between investigative reporting and visual storytelling. It pairs the finest, new investigative films with an immersive professional symposium that brings together watchdog journalists and narrative/documentary filmmakers for one purpose; to elevate stories anchored in the search for truth.