X restores Taylor Swift searches after deepfake explicit images triggered temporary block

Taylor Swift speaks with people on the field after an AFC Championship NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024, in Baltimore. The Kansas City Chiefs won 17-10. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

LONDON (AP) 鈥 Elon Musk's social media platform X has restored searches for Taylor Swift after temporarily blocking users from seeing some results as pornographic deepfake images of the singer circulated online.

Searches for the singer's name on the site Tuesday turned up a list of tweets as normal.

A day earlier, and a prompt for users to retry their search, which added, 鈥淒on鈥檛 fret 鈥 it鈥檚 not your fault.鈥 Users, however, had been able to get around the block by putting quote marks around her name.

of Swift began circulating widely last week on X, formerly known as Twitter, making her the most famous victim of a scourge that tech platforms and anti-abuse groups have struggled to fix.

鈥淪earch has been re-enabled and we will continue to be vigilant for any attempt to spread this content and will remove it if we find it," Joe Benarroch, head of business operations at X, said in a statement.

Earlier, he said the company had taken 鈥渢emporary action" to stop the searches and that it was 鈥渄one with an abundance of caution" as it prioritized safety

At least one search term 鈥 Taylor Swift AI 鈥 was still apparently blocked. Unlike more conventional doctored images that have troubled celebrities in the past, the Swift images appear to have been created using an artificial intelligence image-generator that can instantly create new images from a written prompt.

After the images began spreading online, of 鈥淪wifties鈥 quickly mobilized, launching a counteroffensive on X and a #ProtectTaylorSwift hashtag to flood it with more positive images of the pop star. Some said they were reporting accounts that were sharing the deepfakes.

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