Womenz Magazine

AI Deepfake Scandal Rocks Bobbi Althoff “There’s No Way People Believe This About Me,” and They Did

Bobbi Althoff
Photo by Variety via Getty Images

When Bobbi Althoff noticed she was trending on Twitter in February, she assumed it was because of her podcast. The 26-year-old host of “The Really Good Podcast,” known for her deadpan interviews with celebrities, had recently interviewed rapper Wiz Khalifa. They had smoked together during the episode, and Althoff thought people were discussing their interaction.

However, the real reason for the buzz was far more disturbing. Althoff discovered that deepfake videos of AI-generated pornography using her image were circulating on X.

“I was like, ‘What the f*** is this? That’s not my podcast,’” Althoff told Yahoo Entertainment at an event for Hasbro’s new card game Fork, Milk, Kidnap.

Deepfake images and videos have become an increasingly bigger problem for celebrities and non-celebrities alike. The X platform, specifically, has been criticized for its lack of oversight, similar to notoriously toxic and anonymous message boards like 4chan. According to the Washington Post, the clip had received more than 4.5 million views on X within nine hours.

The problem extends beyond celebrities; underage students have also faced the issue of fake and nonconsensual images being spread. While some images are noticeably AI-generated (like having too many fingers on each hand), others are more subtle and can easily confuse viewers.

“I immediately was like, ‘That looks so fake. There’s no way anyone’s gonna believe that. So I brushed it off like no biggie,” Althoff said.

Despite her initial dismissal, many online users and even her own team believed the deepfake was real. Her team reached out urgently, saying, “Bobbi, when you have a minute, please give us a call.”

The serious tone of the message prompted Althoff to return the call. “They were like, ‘We just need to ask: Is what we saw online real?’” Althoff recalled.

“There’s no way you guys thought this was real,” she responded, realizing the profound impact these deepfake images had on the public.

“That was when it really set in that people believed that, and that was really horrible,” she said. “I was like, ‘There’s no way people believe this about me,’ and they did.”

While no federal law regulates deepfake porn, some states have taken steps to combat the growing problem. Missouri, for example, has proposed the “Taylor Swift Act.” Additionally, the DEFIANCE Act of 2024 has been introduced in Congress to provide relief for individuals affected by nonconsensual digital forgeries.

However, identifying the creators of these deepfakes remains a challenge, as many originate from anonymous message boards.

As a mother of two young daughters, Althoff is particularly concerned about the future. “AI is scary,” she told Yahoo Entertainment. “I’m with my kids, and I’m like, ‘You guys are going to have a rough time. Good luck.’ It’s gonna suck. This world is scary. It’s getting scarier.”

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