Taylor Swift is Not Alone: The Deepfake Nightmare Sweeping the Internet

February 1, 2024

Over the past year, a tsunami of apps that digitally strip the clothes off real people has hit the market. Now anyone can create fake non-consensual sexual images in just a few clicks. With cases proliferating in high schools, guest presenter Laurie Segall talks to legal scholar Mary Anne Franks about the AI-enabled rise in deep fake porn and what we can do about it. 

Correction: Laurie refers to the app ‘Clothes Off.’ It’s actually named Clothoff. There are many clothes remover apps in this category.


Dr. Mary Anne Franks is the Eugene L. and Barbara A. Bernard Professor in Intellectual Property, Technology, and Civil Rights Law at the George Washington University Law School. She is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of civil rights, free speech, and technology. Her other areas of expertise include family law, criminal law, criminal procedure, First Amendment law, and Second Amendment law.

Dr. Franks is also the President and Legislative & Tech Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating online abuse and discrimination. In 2013, she drafted the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), which has served as the template for multiple state laws and for pending federal legislation on the issue. She served as the reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s 2018 Uniform Civil Remedies for the Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act and frequently advises state and federal legislators on various forms of technology-facilitated abuse. Dr. Franks also advises several major technology platforms on privacy, free expression, and safety issues. She has been an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project since 2019.

Dr. Franks is the author of the award-winning book, The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech (Stanford Press, 2019). She was awarded a Knight Foundation grant to support research for her second book, Fearless Speech, which is expected in 2024. Her scholarship has also appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the California Law Review, and UCLA Law Review, among others.

Prior to joining the GW faculty, Dr. Franks was the Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the University of Miami School of Law and an Affiliated Faculty member of the University of Miami Department of Philosophy. She previously taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law and at Harvard University as a lecturer in social studies and philosophy. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School as well as a doctorate and a master’s degree from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She was named a member of the American Law Institute in October 2018 and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

Laurie Segall is the founder of Mostly Human Media, an entertainment company focused on society and artificial intelligence.

Formerly CNN’s senior tech correspondent and a reporter for 60 Minutes, Segall has interviewed the world’s most influential tech leaders including Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook. Her access to the titans of tech has allowed her to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Uber during their meteoritic rise. Segall chronicled her experience and the human impact of a decade of innovation in her memoir, Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech’s Titans and Misfits.

She served as executive producer and host of CNN’s Mostly Human with Laurie Segall, a docu-series that explored sex, love, death, and humanity through the lens of tech. She has received numerous awards for her work championing women, including a Gracie Award for her docuseries Revenge Porn: The War on Women, which shed light on an alarming type of cyber harassment aimed at women. Although Segall interviews the tech billionaires, she has committed her career to covering those impacted by their code. 

Fifteen years ago, Segall saw something coming, and there was no way to report it, so she created the startup beat at CNN. It’s happening again - now she’s creating something new - Mostly Human Media.

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