Jul 12, 2019

GitHub removes open source versions of DeepNude, a machine learning project that algorithmically removes clothing from images of women

DeepNude, a project that used neural networks to create realistic nude images of women, made headlines in the software development world over the last few weeks due to its controversial usage. DeepNude’s creator pulled the plug on the project, but open source versions of the codebase continued to appear on GitHub, uploaded by other users. GitHub is now removing these repositories in an attempt to stop the spread of tools similar to DeepNude.

Many developers often overlook the fact that GitHub, as the de facto home of open source software, still retains the right to moderate content that does not abide by its acceptable use policies. GitHub states “we do not proactively monitor user-generated content, but we do actively investigate abuse reports.” As Facebook, Twitter, and other technology giants come under fire for their handling of offensive and controversial content, growing scrutiny will likely make its way slowly into the developer world, particularly as open source software on public platforms continues to rapidly expand. GitHub may soon have to contend with the fact that controversial content and open source software could overlap more frequently in the future.

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