Twitch’s most prominent woman streamer, Kaitlyn Siragusa, known online as Amouranth, is speaking out about exploitation in the industry after fellow creator Atrioc admitted he purchased deepfake porn of several prominent female streamers last month.
“I think it's completely ridiculous that people can do it,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I think it's really annoying, because someone can take your likeness and just make all these deepfakes. But you also currently don't really have a strong case legally against it.”
Siragusa was named as the only woman in Twitch’s top 100 most-viewed streamers of 2022 (Twitch refused to confirm this statistic). She told BuzzFeed News that deepfakes are something she’s had to deal with in the past.
QT Cinderella, another streamer who appeared in the deepfake porn Atrioc purchased without her consent, also spoke out against her body being used. “Fuck the constant exploitation and objectification of women. It’s exhausting,” she said through tears. “It should not be part of my job to have to pay money to get this stuff taken down. It should not be part of my job to be harassed, to see pictures of me ‘nude’ spread around.”
Siragusa said that removing deepfakes is incredibly difficult for creators who find their faces being used without their consent. That’s in part because many deepfakes are not made in the US, so it’s hard to hold people accountable in the American legal framework. Even within the US, deepfakes are protected by fair use laws because they are considered “transformative work,” meaning intellectual property used in a new or inventive way: United States law generally holds that a photo or video’s copyright is held by the person who made the image in the first place, regardless of what (or who) the image portrays. Even with a privately hired team working to get deepfakes removed, Siragusa said, the main recourse is chasing down each video and hoping the creators can be persuaded to take it down.
But some pending legislation might help. The Senate committee on Homeland Security voted to advance the Deepfake Task Force Act on Thursday, which would create a temporary task force aimed at creating a plan to lessen the proliferation of deepfakes. Siragusa said she’s been eagerly following the progress of the act.
“I think it will have an effect once they start making deepfakes of mainstream people who are in power, like presidents, Hollywood actresses, people with money,” she said. “When that technology gets to the point where it's so good that it's actually causing issues and political campaigns, that’s when people are gonna finally get shit done about it.”
Siragusa said having also worked in the adult film industry means her viewpoint on deepfakes may be different from that of a creator who chooses not to.
“I have actual porn,” she said. “So for me, it's like you're going out of your way to consume a lesser form of like, a lesser quality, less convincing media. I find it just really like, almost comical to look at.”
Sweet Anita, whose likeness appeared in the unauthorized deepfake porn, tweeted her frustration immediately after Atrioc admitted what he’d done. “I literally choose to pass up millions by not going into sex work and some random cheeto encrusted porn addict solicits my body without my consent instead,” she wrote. “Don't know whether to cry, break stuff or laugh at this point.”
However, some streamers do willingly pursue sex work. “Girls in general are taking control of their own body, and being able to profit off of themselves is becoming a lot more mainstream than it was in the past,” Siragusa said.
For those who are interested in featuring in porn, Siragusa said there’s an opportunity for consensual deepfakes to become a useful tool, and she believes more AI will become utilized in the industry.
Constantly prepping for and performing a variety of sex acts can take a toll on one’s body, and Siragusa said she believes deepfake technology will become more common, with actors choosing instead to have their likeness embedded into videos instead of filming multiple takes of a sex act.
“People don’t understand how physically exhausting that shit is,” she said. “Like why would you bother taking your own damage to your body, when you can just have an AI program that can look exactly like you, not even a cartoon version?”