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Leaders at X are blocking users from searching for Taylor Swift because explicit artificial intelligence-generated fake nude images of the singer have gone viral on the platform.
Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.
X users are blocked from searching for Taylor Swift, but it’s not because of past "pro-Biden" images of the singer, as social media posts claim.
A Jan. 29 post from the X account @BidensWins — which describes itself as "the largest online community of President Biden’s supporters" — says: "Elon Musk is stopping individuals from searching "Taylor Swift" out of fear they will find this pro-Biden image of her." It includes a photo of Swift holding a plate of cookies decorated with the Biden-Harris campaign logo and the words "Biden Harris 2020."
The post also says, "Retweet to get the word out that Taylor is a Biden voter."
It’s true that the platform is blocking users from searching Swift’s name, but the post gets the reason wrong. The restrictions were because sexually explicit images of Swift circulated on X over several days, with one image getting more than 47 million views, according to The New York Times. The images are fake.
X suspended several accounts that were posting the images, the Times reported, and an X executive said in a statement that the platform was blocking all searches of the singer to keep the fake images from spreading, according to news reports from Time, NBC News and Axios.
The White House, meanwhile, called the explicit fake images of Swift "alarming" and asked Congress to act legislatively to address harmful AI-generated images, according to Reuters. Musk has not publicly spoken about the fake Swift images or their circulation.
We rate the claim that Musk is not allowing X users to search for Swift on the platform "out of fear they will find this pro-Biden image of her" False.
X post, Jan. 29, 2024
TIME, "Taylor Swift Searches Blocked by X Amid Circulation of Deepfakes," Jan. 28, 2024
NBC News, "Taylor Swift’s name not searchable on X," Jan. 27, 2024
Reuters, "Fake online images of Taylor Swift alarm White House," Jan. 26, 2024
The New York Times, "Explicit Deepfake Images of Taylor Swift Elude Safeguards and Swamp Social Media," Jan. 26, 2024
Axios, "X blocks searches for Taylor Swift," Jan 29, 2024
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