I just finished reading a story in the latest Utne Reader about this ultra-creepy software that came out last March. Check it out: FalseFlesh is an image editing software program that lets users apply X-ray vision to people in fully clothed, G-rated photos. So, without being a real life stalker or rapist, you can create homemade non-consensual nudie pics of anyone you like, and they’ll never even know. Getting consent to see someone naked can be such a hassle sometimes and—let’s face it—also a letdown.
The site boasts the following selling points:
- No graphic design experience needed!
- Works for both females and males
- Matches skin tones
- Large stockpile of prefabricated images
- Very easy and intuitive interface
- Multiple “nudity creating” options
- Variety of clothing styles and body parts
- Ideal for social network website pictures
- 100% private and secure purchase process
The “social networking site” thing really creeps me out. Yes, we knew that’s where this was all going, but did you really have to say it? At least one person out there will masturbate to just about every image that makes its way onto the internet, but being reminded about it is a little unsettling. Everyone is on Facebook these days, and it wouldn’t even occur to most people to keep their chaste and innocent full-body shots off the internet out of concern that someone’s transforming them into homemade porn. I’m not especially uptight about people masturbating to images (especially fake images) of myself, but the fact that so many Facebook-obsessed teenagers are naively creating potential jerk-off fodder kind of disturbs me.
Where are you now, Ashton Kutcher? Aren’t you out to save humanity from this stuff?
It definitely makes me want to think again about adding people I don’t know to my Facebook page—for a one-time fee of $35, they could be turning perfectly innocent photos of me and my friends into softcore lesbian orgy shots. Forever! Usually, guys have to pay at least that to see me only topless, and with no photo evidence. And what if they’re reposting the photos somewhere?
It’s not like FalseFlesh invented the market for this stuff, and probably just improves the quality of images people have been trying to make on Photoshop ever since Al Gore invented the internet. What kind of baffles me though, is that with all the people out to halt and criminalize consensual sex work, there’s not more of an uproar over making inherently non-consensual porn. The FalseFlesh people could be pimping us all out as we speak (even you, Ashton Kutcher), and we’ll never even know, let alone get a dime of the profits.
But I’ll be honest: for purely selfish reasons, I’m a little bit happy this exists. If you happen to be someone who’s put actual naked photos of yourself on the internet—a sex worker, for example—I wonder if this program could be your ticket to born-again respectability the day some asshole decides to anonymously forward a photo of your escort ad or porn shoot to your boss/mom/husband/pastor/children, or whomever else you’ve lied to about your past.
Practice saying these lines for when the day comes: “This is an outrage! That was a fully clothed, utterly innocent photo of me deep throating a dildo, now altered, stripped of all context and transformed into this filth! And … oh, how awful! These perverts have even found a way to alter video footage!”