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Valkyrae Apologizes Over Disturbing Deepfake Trend Affecting Her Fans

Artificial intelligence and deepfake technologies have quickly gone from niche concepts to mainstream norms. AI programs like ChatGPT have made headlines recently for their ability to be misused in educational settings, and for years deepfakes have caused controversies and headaches for public figures and everyday people alike. Sometimes faking is used by fans of streamers to make jokes, for example, the Jerma985 community seems to never run out of ways to edit "the sus guy" into other memes. But for many streamers, particularly female streamers, faking is a much more serious matter — especially when it starts to affect fans, too.

Now, Valkyrae has faced this issue. Rachell Hofstetter — known better under her alias Valkyae — is no stranger to dealing with creeps on the internet, but a recent incident affected more than just her. In a tweet posted March 18, 2023, the 2022 Streamer Awards host apologized for deepfakes being made of her publicly supportive fans. Apparently, not only has the YouTube exclusive streamer recently been victim to her face being used in deepfake pornography, but so too have the likenesses of fans and community members who have posted in support of her. 

The news obviously shook fans of Valkyrae, and the reveal quickly went viral, now having racked up almost three million views. In addition to words of encouragement and worry for those affected, some fans wondered what was being done to combat such images being made of the community.

The streaming community rallies behind Valkyrae's fans

Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter quickly rose to fame in 2020, particularly for being an "Among Us" streamer during the height of its popularity at the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Gaining nearly four million YouTube subs in just a few years is no small boast, and she still regularly gets hundreds of thousands of views on full-length streams. The streamer's community has been built on positivity and support, and in the face of this deepfake problem, fans rallied behind Valkyrae and each other — it's one problem when a public figure gets deepfaked, it's another when anonymous fans get pulled into it.

Fans who didn't know about deepfakes were shocked by what they learned, with one user saying that they regretted looking up what the term meant at all in the context of Valkyrae's tweet. Perhaps more internet-savvy fans were thankful that the streamer spread the word that these images were going around, so more could be aware of it and keep an eye out. There were also plenty of fans who said they would work directly to report and take down accounts plaguing the community with these depraved edits.

There isn't much that can be done about this from Valkyrae's side of things except to let fans know what is happening and to be aware of the problem. Fans responded to the reveal with a confident surge of support, and with any luck the accounts responsible for these deepfakes of Valkyrae's fans will disappear with enough attention put on them.