Taylor Swift searches blocked on X after fake explicit images spread

One image of Swift shared on X was viewed 47 million times before the account was suspended

Published : 29 Jan 2024, 01:29 PM
Updated : 29 Jan 2024, 01:29 PM

The social media platform X has blocked users from searching for Taylor Swift after fake sexually explicit images of the pop singer proliferated on social media this week, an executive said on Sunday.

Searches for Swift's name on Sunday afternoon on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter yielded the error message, "Something went wrong. Try reloading."

"This is a temporary action and done with an abundance of caution as we prioritize safety on this issue," Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, said in a statement.

Swift was named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2023 after launching a record-shattering global tour and becoming the world's most-streamed musical artist.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the fake images "alarming" on Friday, and said social media companies have a responsibility to prevent the spread of such misinformation.

Jean-Pierre said at a news briefing that lax enforcement against false images, possibly created by artificial intelligence (AI), disproportionately affects women.

One image of Swift shared on X was viewed 47 million times before the account was suspended, according to a New York Times report.

Since billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter in 2022, he has been criticised for his own controversial posts and his efforts to overhaul the platform's content moderation policies. Many advertisers on the platform have pulled back spending, fearful of appearing next to harmful posts.