October 17, 2019 2:25 AM   Subscribe

"Here it is again," she thought. "Someone else that has my life right in their hands and is able to make these decisions for me. Here it is again. Someone again forcing my hand to do something I don't want to do when it involves sexual stuff." So she made a decision. From The real (and fake) sex lives of Bella Thorne [BBC] [CW: abuse, depression, revenge porn, deepfakes, Disney. Link may be NSFW for language.] posted by chavenet (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Once upon on a time one could protect themselves from revenge porn by not making any intimate media of themselves. Deepfakes have changed that. Now we're all subject to the violation and there no protection. It will probably create social pressure to really attack the revenge porn problem--though in a more empathetic culture that pressure would've been there all along, even when the media was real.
posted by schroedinger at 3:21 AM on October 17, 2019 [11 favorites]

Dear Whoopi Goldberg:

Perhaps you ought to rethink whether you're the best arbiter for "what people should and should not do when they're famous".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:52 AM on October 17, 2019 [10 favorites]

Victim blaming never goes out of style.
posted by spindrifter at 6:03 AM on October 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

Well, this is something.

I then ask her to comment on the recent BBC investigation which found that Pornhub, the site where she released the film, has been profiting from so-called revenge porn videos.

It's evident that this is the first Thorne has heard of the BBC story and she is visibly shaken.

"I didn't know that," she says, tears suddenly falling. "You attach yourself to things and you think you're making things better. I try and help and then somewhere along the line..."

Her voice breaks off. I ask her if she wants to add anything more about Pornhub later when she's had time to research.

"I don't want to be fake, so I'd rather you keep my first answer."

We need this strength in the world.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:39 AM on October 17, 2019 [25 favorites]

Takes a lot of bravery to do what she is doing, in this world of monster men. I always fear for these Disney channel kids, it seems to be a breeding ground to fuck up children, moreso than the typical child star factories. Disney is one of the most evil companies in the world but the nature of their media seems to protect them from scrutiny and action.
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:39 AM on October 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

Goldberg is consistently awful on all issues of sexual assault, consent, and abuse. Especially when powerful Hollywood men are involved. Remember that she's one of convicted child rapist Roman Polanski's stalwart defenders. So her decision to attack Thorne was unsurprising back when she first took that position.

I'm sorry for Ms. Thorne and I believe the problem with deepfakes will get vastly worse as time passes. I suspect that quite soon now we'll enter a time when there are photo perfect deepfakes of pretty much every celebrity and on demand deepfakes of anyone at all including you and me. In the social shaming sense I think that will likely alleviate the problem Thorne first encountered with blackmail, with fakes so prevalent no one will have any reason to believe real pictures are real which will make the blackmail angle less problematic. But it won't help the feeling of being victimized at all.

We probably need a new law mandating radical transparency and maybe a rotating group of inspectors (so as to reduce the risk of a corrupt inspector covering things up) for companies employing child actors. It's obvious that trusting adults to alert law enforcement when they suspect abuse is simply not working.
posted by sotonohito at 8:45 AM on October 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

I don't think a wider prevalence of deepfakes will alleviate any shame, they'll just make it easier to spread rumors. There are conservatives who still believe that manipulated Pelosi video is real, no matter how thoroughly it's been debunked. Deepfakes are getting easier to make but will still require a level of technological savvy beyond what most people will ever possess (or at the very least money to pay someone else). The pornographic tracts and illustrations made of Marie Antoinette were obviously false in retrospect (and at the time) but people WANTED to believe them and that was enough.
posted by schroedinger at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2019 [4 favorites]

People believe what they WANT to believe. Simple as that.
posted by Goofyy at 3:00 PM on October 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hmmmm, I think it's cool that she's become an artsy porn director. Abella Danger is really gorgeous, and a good actress! On the other hand, deepfake technology scares the hell out of me and I think we're going to have to make it so illegal you can't imagine how illegal it is.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:15 PM on October 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I don't think you can successfully ban it. Software is insanely easy to transmit across international borders and computing power is growing rapidly enough it won't even take a powerful computer to run soonish.

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to ban, I'm just saying I think it's impossible.
posted by sotonohito at 5:53 PM on October 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

sotonohito got there before I did, but to fill in the quotes and explain why I haven't cared to see anything of Whoopi Goldberg's for the last decade, this. I uncordially invite anyone who defends Roman Polanski, or any other rapist, to go to hell.
posted by bryon at 10:37 PM on October 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I hate this, like, every single thing about this. She's an abused young woman just trying to cope with every stage of her life being taken over by men. It's heartbreaking. Providing men with "good" or "ethical" porn is not going to stop men from hating, raping, manipulating, abusing, or murdering women for sexual gratification. Child pornography is at a staggering all time high. Revenge porn, deepfakes, leaked nudes and other modern and new problems are cropping up, doubling down. Interest in sexual violence among teens is increasing, shaming for "vanilla" sex is common.

I'm at the point where I genuinely believe that we need to tear down the entire industry - porn, entertainment, all of it, and not give it back until men can learn to behave
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:01 AM on October 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

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