A whole new subgenre of horrific true crime content is emerging tick tock. The posters there use media creation tools based on “artificial intelligence” to create fake videos that purport to show real murder victims, often children, recounting grisly details about how they were killed. Worse, these AI-generated digital nightmares are growing in popularity, attracting millions of views while preying on real victims.
We’ve written a lot about it AI Generated Content on this website and reported how quickly it is becoming a destructive force in the world. People are already losing their jobs while unethical companies compete to use AI technology to replace as many humans as possible with glorified chatbots. So I was already firmly in the “AI generated content is bad”Camp before a new report showed me how much worse things can get when some people use the controversial technology to revive dead people to boost social media views.
As reported by Rolling Stone On Wednesday, these AI-generated true-crime recreations are exploding on TikTok. I did a quick search and found way too many that had over 100,000 views. Some had even more. I found a video of an AI generated boy using an inhuman robotic voice describing in grisly and frightening detail how he was tortured and murdered by his father. It had over two million views. I won’t link to them as this is among the worst things I’ve seen in a long time, but you can find them very easily. But I wouldn’t do it. Trust me.
Accounts that post this content on TikTok have thousands of followers and millions of likes, and seemingly post new videos of AI victims every day. There are several accounts that post videos like this, including some featuring adults and famous politicians like JFK. But most of the most popular ones feature children.
Rolling Stone points out how often false information is provided in these videos, including the victims’ race, age and names, which these content creators allegedly “honour”. Some of these misstatements could be genuine errors, while others are speculated to be intentionally false to circumvent them TikTok’s new rules against AI-powered deepfakes of non-famous people and children.
The “true crime” content debate
People (including me) have been doing it for years. questioned the popularity of true crime podcasts, TV shows, and movies. Done right, true crime can provide glimpses into the darker side of humanity or tell stories that would otherwise be hushed up by the police or those in power.
But all too often, real crime content takes advantage of the victims and their families while making stars out of the perpetrators. This latest trend of using AI-generated recreations of killed children to create even more gruesome content is likely to spark even more controversy around the troubled genre and its fans.
Personally, I would advise you not to look for it. The TikTok videos I saw while watching this gave me an upset stomach. It’s terrible shit, and a dark sign that just when you think it can’t get any worse, AI-generated content does it, and in new ways you could never have imagined. There’s really no escape from this train from hell, is there?