X appears to block Taylor Swift searches… barely

Twitter’s “X” logo on a purple and blue background

X appears to have blocked searches for Taylor Swift as a reaction to a recent trend of graphic AI fakes of the world-famous recording artist being posted to the site. Right now, if you search “Taylor Swift” or “Taylor Swift AI” on X, formerly Twitter, you may see a “Something went wrong” message. After Platformer’s Casey Newton posted about the apparent block, we tried some other searches. If X is intentionally blocking searches for illicit AI-generated images of Swift, it doesn’t seem to have gotten very far.

That’s because if you run into a blocked search term and decide to put the barest amount of effort into trying something else, you’ll get around it. “Taylor AI Swift” or simply putting quotation marks around her name both returned results as of this writing, for example. Even tacking another word onto one of the seemingly blocked search terms gets results. What’s more, while the posts may or may not be blocked from search, the media associated with them clearly isn’t — clicking on the Media tab reveals plenty of images.

A screenshot of an attempted search for Taylor Swift on X.

A screenshot of an attempted search for Taylor Swift on X.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge

Reports have said that Swift is considering legal action against the sites hosting the images, which users said they preferred Microsoft Designer to make. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called the deepfakes “alarming and terrible” in an interview with NBC Nightly News yesterday, and said he believes AI companies need to “move fast” to get better guardrails in place.

X replied to our email asking whether Swift’s name is being blocked intentionally with an emailed auto-reply.

Developing…

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