‘Another Body’ documentary tells story of deepfake pornography survivor’s search for justice

Trisha Dasgupta, Senior Life&Arts Reporter

Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual harassment.

Transformed by the new wave of increasingly accessible artificial intelligence, the internet grows more similar to the wild, wild west. Artificial intelligence might be the shiny, new exciting technology revolutionizing the world, but with minimal to no regulation, its powers have also been used to harass people online in the form of deepfakes.

A highly advanced form of photoshop, deepfake technology refers to the use of AI to create ultra-realistic doctoring of videos. As this tech evolves and becomes increasingly harder to differentiate from actual footage, these videos can be used for propaganda and even blackmail.

“Another Body,” which premiered at South by Southwest on Thursday, tells the real story of a woman and her fight for justice after discovering that she had been used in adult videos posted online without her consent. Handling the survivor’s story with care and empathy, “Another Body” is a must-watch that not only documents some of the alarming uses of AI, but also the emotional impact and trauma it inflicts on real people.

The documentary follows “Taylor Klein,” an alias for the 23-year-old graduate student who logged onto Facebook one day in 2020, only to find a link to a PornHub account that had featured several deepfaked adult videos of her. After calling the police, Klein discovered her state had not yet passed any legislation to monitor deepfake technology and its use online.

Highlighting the lack of regulation and legislation around these new technologies through Klein’s struggles in getting justice, much of the film shows Klein finding a lack of legal options, which prompts her to launch an investigation herself, largely without the help of law enforcement. With the help of a former classmate in a similar situation, Klein delves into websites such as 4chan, coming across entire chat boards and threads dedicated to deepfake revenge porn.

The documentary reveals the dark underbelly of internet cultures that enable users to manipulate machine learning for the sake of hurting primarily women and minorities — all while putting a deepfaked human face on screen. That’s right — in order to protect Klein’s identity, filmmakers Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn utilized face-veiling technology themselves, demonstrating how unnervingly realistic it can be, as well as the nuances of the issue.

An emotional documentary that explores a new and dangerous aspect of emerging technological advances, “Another Body” could not have come at a more crucial time in the changing landscape of the internet, investigating what AI means in a greater cultural and societal context.

4 stars out of 5