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Reddit now ‘officially’ allows AI porn, but non-consensual deepfakes are still banned

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Reddit has updated its rules to allow AI-generated porn to be shared on the platform, as long as it features fictional people, or the real people featured have given consent for it to be distributed. It is unclear how Reddit could verify whether or not consent has been given in this latter case.

The move means that a blanket ban on AI porn, introduced by Reddit to crack down on AI deepfake porn, has been lifted as the platform reacts to the rising tides of ‘legit’ AI porn featuring fictional characters.

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The clarification is an indication of the speed at which AI porn is developing. Around 2018, when Reddit banned AI porn, this style of sexual content largely meant deepfake porn of celebrities, or deepfake ‘revenge porn’, created for nefarious purposes and seldom shared with consent. Now, though, AI porn often just means new erotic images of fictional AI-created people.

Reddit’s Rule 3, as it is known, prohibits “sharing intimate or sexually explicit media of a person created or posted without their permission”. The new update clarifies that this rule now does not apply to “AI-generated sexual media that depicts fictional people or characters, or artistic depictions (e.g., cartoons, anime, etc).”

The platform clarified that non-consensual deepfake AI porn was still banned.

“Images or video of another person posted for the specific purpose of faking explicit content or soliciting “lookalike” pornography (e.g. ‘deepfakes’ or ‘bubble porn’) is also against the Rule,” it says.

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Subreddits dedicated to AI porn have been around for a long time, but this rule update does keep Reddit more in line with an up-to-date definition of AI porn. There are now many sites available that generate AI porn featuring fictional characters, such as Promptchan and Soulgen.

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Large-breasted AI women are also making a splash in the online influencer sphere. This year a slew of AI ‘virtual influencers’ have popped up on social media, some offering racier photos via Patreon, some saying they were preparing to shill branded content.

Reddit recently weathered a huge protest, as users mobilized to speak out against the changes to the platform’s pricing and its accessibility through third-party apps. In June 2023, many porn and NSFW subreddits ‘went dark’ and were made private-access only by moderators, as part of a wider protest across subreddits.

The protests stemmed from Reddit saying it would introduce charges for third-party apps used to browse the platform.

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