Woman Allegedly Manipulated Daughter’s Rivals’ Faces with ‘Deepfake’ AI to Kick Them Off Cheerleading Squad


Woman Allegedly Manipulated Daughter’s Rivals’ Faces with ‘Deepfake’ AI to Kick Them Off Cheerleading Squad 
Screenshot From PewDiePie YouTube

As clear as the harmful potential of popular deepfake videos when abused might be, there are still reportedly new ones still popping out every once in a while.

A new story follows a mother who used this popular TikTok trend in order to manipulate the faces of her daughter’s rivals to kick them off of the cheerleading squad.

Deepfake AI technology used

According to the Philadelpha Inquirer as well as the Harrisburg’s Patriot-News report, the police over in Chalfont, Pennsylvania had just arrested a resident by the name of Raffaela Spone for allegedly making use of deepfakes in order to kick certain rivals off of her daughter’s cheerleading squad known as the Victorious Vipers.

According to the law enforcement, Spone had allegedly sent some AI-manipulated photos and videos showing the teens either smoking, drinking, or even naked.

Police had initially received word back in July 2020, when one of the said victims had reportedly received certain messages coming from an anonymous number.

This then led some others to come forward, saying they experienced the same thing. Officers then linked the message directly to Spone by supposedly tracing all of the numbers to the telemarketer-oriented site. 

Mother caught manipulating faces

The officers then pinpointed the IP address, which then led to Spone’s home address.

The officers issued an immediate search warrant for the woman’s smartphone and had found solid evidence tying her directly towards the numbers. Spone now faces misdemeanor charges of supposed cyber harassment of a child and other linked offences.

The police have reportedly taken no action against the daughter as there is no given evidence that she was directly aware of what her mother was doing.

According to the story by Engadget, social networks just like TikTok, Facebook, and even Twitter have all already banned the use of deepfakes. This makes them more unlikely to spread.

However, this still doesn’t really prevent direct harassment campaigns and the whole incident underscores the ease involved in the production of these fakes. Users don’t have to be an expert in order to create these supposed deepfakes.

Read Also: Scientists Use AI to Determine Fakes: How to Spot Deepfake Videos– Look at Their Eyes!

The danger of deepfake

While initially used for entertainment purposes, the dangers of deepfakes are still being made known to those who use them or those that appreciate them.

Initially, deepfakes were used for fun but, due to incidents like those of Spone, the danger of using deepfakes have also been exposed. This also provides users a simple way for them to alter certain images and even play around with other people’s identities.

For those unfamiliar with deepfakes, these are videos that are altered, layering a different person’s face with another. Although this altered version might seem quite faulty, the result can be disguised as real depending on how good the image and the video match each other.


Related Article: American Computer Scientists Find Alarming Proof That Deepfake Detectors Could Fail

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Written by Urian Buenconsejo

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