4Chan Campaign Uses AI to Shame Women. She Fought Back

As an adult-content creator with a large following on the internet, Isla David has dealt with trolls before. Usually, her work combatting online bad actors involves her trying to take down photos of herself that have been posted elsewhere without her permission, such as a photo for an ad for “horny MILFs in your area” that she’s been trying to get removed for years. But she’s also used to trolls editing her image without her consent. “They’re either subtracting clothes, editing my waist, [or] editing the size of my chest and my hips,” she tells Rolling Stone. “Just generally treating me like human Play-Doh for them to mash around.”

On Feb. 2, however, David found herself in a somewhat unusual position. A friend informed her that one of her photos, a sultry image of her sipping a bottle of Highland Park scotch while clad in a white button-down, which she’d posted on the subreddit r/whiskeyporn in 2021, had been going viral on what she refers to as “the scuzzier corners of the internet,” such as 4chan. The image had been edited not to remove her clothes, but to add them.

The photo had been manipulated with AI, David says, to make her look like “some strange parody of a woman.” Her waist and thighs had been edited to look smaller, but her head had been edited to nearly twice its size. What’s more, the person who edited it had clothed her in a demure white A-line dress and surrounded her with three adorable children, all of the same approximate stature and wearing similarly beatific white garments. Far-right influencer Ian Miles Cheong had tweeted it with the caption, “When given pictures of thirst traps, AI imagines what could’ve been if they’d been raised by strong fathers,” a post that had racked up seven million views.


At first, David was amused, particularly by the poor quality of the AI rendering. “It looks like I’m sipping my AI baby’s brain out through its ear,” she says. But that amusement turned to an overwhelming sense of horror, particularly when she saw the replies to Cheong’s tweet. “The implication [of many of the replies] is that I am something other than a whole person,” she says. “That I am some broken creature, and if I would just put on a long dress and have babies, all would be resolved. And I take umbrage with that, because my value has nothing to do with the images I choose to put online.” The manipulated image, she said, was “an attempt to violate me and my bodily autonomy, regardless of whether you’re adding or removing clothes.”

The photo was part of a larger campaign spearheaded by 4chan trolls to use AI software to dress women on the internet more modestly. Dubbed “DignifAI,” a thread on the hate forum /pol/ summarizes the “mission” thusly: “We’re putting clothes on degenerate women for fun, come join. The goal is for people to see that a degenerate lifestyle is ultimately fruitless.” The thread also includes links to specific tutorials for people to use the program Stable Diffusion for this purpose, as well as instructions to “include the name of the [woman] in the post so anons can @ them,” making it clear that the goal of the campaign is targeted humiliation.

DignifAI initially went viral on X (formerly known as Twitter) with a post by the far-right influencer Jack Posobiec, who on Friday posted four examples of the tool being used on what he referred to as “e-girls,” a derogatory term for women with front-facing personae on the internet. An accompanying X account for DignifAI features manipulated versions of Instagram models, as well as celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Doja Cat and a handful of male celebrities, and has garnered 28,000 followers.

In a message to Rolling Stone, the person behind the DignifAI X account denied being behind the image that Cheong had tweeted (which makes some degree of sense, considering the editing is noticeably worse than most of the photos on the DignifAI account). When asked what the purpose of the account was, @DignifAI said, “it’s just an account to put more clothes on people,” and did not elaborate further.

But generally speaking, the campaign serves as a mirror image for an ongoing movement among trolls to use AI technology to strip women of their bodily autonomy. Deepfake nude photos and videos of women have gone massively viral alongside the rise of AI, with independent researcher Genevieve Oh finding that nearly 143,000 deepfake pornographic videos were posted without women’s consent last year. While celebrities such as Taylor Swift have largely been targeted, with one deepfake pornographic video of the artist garnering 45 million views on X last week, non-famous young women and children have also been subject to the horrifying phenomenon, including a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who, with her mother, is currently advocating for more stringent legislation governing AI-generated sexual abuse material.

Though various states, including Texas and New York, have passed laws criminalizing the spread of deepfake porn, it remains readily available on search engines like Google and Bing, according to a recent analysis by NBC News. And though virtually all women on the internet are vulnerable to the technology, celebrities and online content creators remain particularly so, due to the sheer volume of media of them that is available on the internet. With the more recent campaign to clothe “degenerate” women — meaning, those who fall outside a very narrow definition of how women should publicly behave — adult content creators like David are now facing an entirely new method of humiliation.

From experience, David says, she knew taking legal action was “pointless,” as she has spent years trying to use DMCA requests to take down nonconsensual images, to no avail. But she says seeing Cheong’s tweet was a “very similar feeling” to seeing her image reused without her permission on tube sites or shady internet forums, or picked apart by misogynists.

“It’s just another attempt to make me feel bad about the person that I am online,” she says. “Whether it’s calling me ugly, or whether it’s complaining that my ass is too big or not big enough, or too lumpy or not lumpy enough, at the end of the day, it’s about finding fault with the body that I put online…at the end of the day, what they are trying to do is revoke your ability to consent and revoke your bodily autonomy on the internet.”


Ignoring the dictum to not feed the trolls, David decided to fight back. She quote-tweeted Cheong’s post with the caption, “This might be the funniest attempt at negging me I’ve ever seen. Had to share. Scroll down for the commenters who are clearly terrified of death by snoo-snoo” (a euphemism for sex with powerful women, popularized by the show Futurama.) In some ways, she’s getting the last laugh: since Cheong posted the AI-manipulated image of her, she’s says she’s seen a 594.4 percent jump in earnings from her OnlyFans in the last day alone, as well as thousands of new followers on X. But she also recognizes the sad reality that her experience is not an isolated one — not just for women in her industry, but for any woman who dares to maintain a public profile on the internet.

“It’s not something that should be a reality of just being a human existing and making a product people want,” she says. “But yeah, this is something that regardless of the size of your account, regardless of the nature of the content that you’re creating, you are vulnerable to this to this kind of thing. You can be mad about it, or you can laugh at it. And those are kind of the the only two options. Or you can not be publicly a woman on the internet. Which for me, at least, isn’t an option I’m inclined to pursue.”

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