What does the path to a safer, more equitable internet look like amidst the uncontrolled spread of nonconsensual deepfakes enabled by A.I.?
In the latest timely episode of Creativity Squared, trailblazing brand and business innovator Cindy Gallop suggests a bold answer grounded in funding female founders and human-centered design.
Named “The Most Provocative Woman in the World,” Cindy Gallop is the Founder & CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, the world’s first and only user-generated, human-curated social sex video-sharing platform.
She’s also the face of ‘the Social Sex Revolution,’ with the mission to end rape culture by socializing and normalizing sex and promoting good sexual values and behavior.
With over 30 years in the advertising industry, Cindy is an outspoken advocate of diversity and inclusion in advertising, tech, and business. She consults with brands on radical, breakthrough, innovative, and transformative ways to change the game in their industries.
Given the seat that Cindy sits in, she joined Creativity Squared to weigh in on the solution to non-consensual, online abuse highlighted by the horrific Taylor Swift deepfakes that recently went viral on X (formerly Twitter) before being taken down.
Spoiler alert: Her solution doesn’t have anything to do with regulation.
This episode does contain sensitive topics related to online harms, so please take this as a trigger warning.
So: What can a safe internet for all look like?
Discover Cindy’s answer to this question and how to address the exponential growth in nonconsensual deepfakes and revenge porn. You’ll also hear about her unique 100% human-curation model designed to create safe online community spaces.
Cindy doesn’t mince her words when it comes to the people who are building our A.I. tools, and how critical it is to fund female founders. She also discusses the link between creativity and sexual expression and how the two can increase productivity, maybe even more so than artificial intelligence.
Read on for more!
Speaking in the wake of global outrage sparked by viral A.I.-generated fake pornographic images of Taylor Swift and just days before the Super Bowl, Gallop argues deepfakes aren’t just victimizing celebrities — nonconsensual content has been exploding exponentially, disproportionately weaponized to exploit women sexually.
What happened to Taylor Swift (and continues to happen to others) is a women’s rights issue — 96% of deepfakes disproportionately target women, and the number of them being created is exploding with the acceleration of artificial intelligenve.
Cindy asserts that, given how slowly the wheels of regulatory lawmaking turn, funding female founders represents a more efficient solution. She points out that female designers inherently design and build for safety, but cannot implement or scale solutions without equal access to funding and support structures afforded to male founders.
While male founders annually raise billions building platforms that enable harm, female founders cannot get funding to build platforms preventing online abuse at scale.
Last year, for example, only 1.7% of all venture capital (VC) worldwide went to female business founders. Meanwhile, male-dominated big tech fails to proactively design protective measures into platforms enabling harm.
“White male VCs are funding white male founders building what white male founders build — and that is the problem right there,” Cindy declares.
She tackles this head-on as the founder of Make Love Not Porn (MLNP) – the world’s only entirely human-curated adult content-sharing platform. MLNP reviewers analyze every video frame-by-frame before publishing, allowing unprecedented assurance against abusive material.
Gallop maintains this manual review model could establish brand safety for advertisers while generating more revenue if adopted by major platforms.
MLNP also uniquely stresses consent and sex education by celebrating intimacy and positive sexual values so users learn ethical conduct by example. Cindy believes this is critical as society grapples with serious literacy issues around consent and healthy sexual relationships.
By clearly defining platform values and content guidelines grounded in respect and empathy, Cindy created a curated feed showcasing exclusively love-oriented content. This sharp focus organically discourages submissions of opposing material.
Cindy proposes that scaling this human curation approach could efficiently moderate content across bigger platforms. She maintains that adopters would shutter pipelines of toxic content and, in turn, unlock major advertiser spending, proving internet safety and profitability can coexist. The impediment remains an entrenched funding system overriding female visions.
Cindy has spent years conceptualizing products that would radically progress online safety, like A.I. to showcase consent in sex education and media. However, she firmly believes that the best hope for an internet designed equally by and for women as much as men is to sufficiently fund female founders.
Citing Creativity Squared’s guiding intention to envision a world where artists not only coexist with A.I., but thrive, Helen poses a central question: What does a more equal and equitable internet look like? She acknowledges that Make Love Not Porn is an example, but asks Cindy for other female-founded companies that embrace this possible future.
Cindy immediately referenced the technologist Natalie Diggins, who built a platform called TheArts.ai, which aims to showcase “how A.I. can actually help you thrive versus what people fear — replacing you.” Diggins’ site provides guides on A.I. applications across artistic fields, like photography and music, to aid practitioners in leveraging the technology as a creative multiplier.
As Cindy wrote in her op-ed for Fast Company, “3 Reasons Why the Future of A.I. Relies on Women,” female founders build “opportunity A.I.,” benefiting society through inclusive innovation. She lauds Diggins for “democratizing access to A.I. for arts practitioners” and believes funding women yields more such A.I., unlocking human potential for good.
Cindy argues that fully-funded female founders would architect digital experiences that prevent online harms from the ground up. She maintains the resulting landscape would prove “a safer, happier place for men, as much as for women.”
Citing the massive growth in deepfakes nonconsensually exploiting women, Helen suggests that internet users should assume “any A.I.-created porn is done without consent.” Cindy counters that an ethical future for A.I. pornography could exist, grounded in consent and compensation for creatives. However, she concedes that “the white, male-founded A.I. applications happening right now are not operating the way we want.
Cindy contends that ensuring consent in creative A.I. by funding female-led solutions remains imperative. She believes in an internet where A.I. empowers humanity, not endangers it, and imagines female founders steering the technology’s co-evolution with society towards that ethical horizon.
At the same time, as Helen reiterates, that future does not currently exist — so users wishing to avoid abusive, nonconsensual exploitation should currently avoid A.I.-generated porn altogether.
Cindy discusses sexual repression, suggesting its cultural persistence is due to the patriarchy stifling innovation.
Make Love Not Porn addresses this by showcasing and celebrating real couples communicating openly and emotionally around vulnerability and intimacy. She believes this empowering visibility helps users learn by example, modeling positive, ethical content — and men in particular can learn to express themselves beyond toxic norms and messages in mainstream porn and media.
More profoundly, Cindy argues that great, uninhibited sex itself could prove society’s ultimate productivity hack once we overcome generations of unhealthy cultural messaging and repression surrounding human intimacy. Given that sexuality profoundly informs happiness, relationships, and self-regard, better sex could boost creativity and productivity — a win-win!
Cindy strongly agrees that sexuality profoundly shapes our self-image and output, for better or for worse. She goes on to express great frustration over the meager support from her industry to grow a scalable concept addressing this area.
Helen spotlights society’s dangerous literacy gaps around consent in sexual relationships, while Cindy agrees, and eagerly awaits funding for a sex education site she designed years ago. She makes clear that technology alone cannot remedy systemic societal inequities if its command centers remain predominantly white heterosexual “boys’ clubs.” Her vision calls for technology companies to embrace insights from those farthest outside existing seats of influence.
Ultimately, Cindy hopes to help “end rape culture globally” through content uplifting healthy, ethical sexual values and great sex grounded in mutual care, understanding, and communication as the norm versus the exception. She maintains that guidance on consent often stays merely theoretical, whereas Make Love Not Porn offers practical examples: “Real world, real life, real-time human sexual behavior.”Helen emphasizes that nonconsensual deepfakes constitute online sexual abuse and trauma comparable to physical assault. Cindy concurs, adding that this exploitation intends to humiliate and degrade victims — deepfakes have even provoked suicides, she notes gravely.
Ending on a more positive note, Helen expresses her hope that the Taylor Swift incident will spark more solutions to the issue of deepfake porn, including funding for Cindy and Make Love Not Porn.
Cindy’s vision calls us to step back and rethink what an ethical technological future might become. She concludes the conversation by hammering home her central point once more…
Thank you, Cindy, for being our guests on Creativity Squared.
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