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Meet the Photographer Behind the Social Media App for Everyone Sick of Meta’s AI

Meet the Photographer Behind the Social Media App for Everyone Sick of Meta’s AI
Artists are fleeing Meta’s platforms over fears their work will be used to train AI. Photographer Jingna Zhang’s Cara promises protection, but the influx of new users is taxing her niche portfolio app.

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Seattle-based photographer and art director, Jingna Zhang, has found herself in the midst of a whirlwind after her social platform for artists, Cara, experienced a surge in popularity due to opposition to Meta's policies on art and artificial intelligence. The platform, which filters out all AI images, has seen its user base grow from 40,000 to 650,000 in a week, and is now approaching a million users. However, the sudden influx of users has brought about complications, including a hefty $96,000 bill from the social network’s cloud storage provider. Zhang, who never intended for Cara to become her full-time gig, is now considering various options, including a potential subscription model or outside investors, to keep the platform afloat. Additionally, she has joined class action lawsuits against companies offering AI image generation tools, advocating for artist's rights and the protection of their work. Zhang emphasizes the importance of community support and participation in the conversation surrounding copyright law and the impact of generative AI on the workplace. She also highlights the broader societal implications of automation and encourages activism and lobbying to address these issues.