A small town in southern Spain has been rocked by the distribution of AI-generated images of young girls in several schools.
The images, which were mainly taken from the girls’ social media accounts and had showed them fully clothed, were spread in at least four of Almendralejo’s five middle schools, El País reported.
The photos were processed by an AI application that created new, fake images showing the girls naked, per the report.
The deepfakes were made using Clothoff, an AI-powered app that allows users to “Undress girl for free,” Euronews reported.
More than 20 girls aged 11 to 17 have been identified as victims in the town, in the western Spanish region of Extremadura.
The story came to light after Miriam Al Adib, a doctor and the mother of one of the affected girls, used her prominent social media profile to draw attention to the incident.
She said in a video on Instagram: “When I arrived home, one of my daughters said with tremendous disgust ‘look what they’ve done to me’. They’d taken a picture of hers and made it seem as if she were naked. They’ve done it to her and dozens more girls.”
Another girl told her mother that “they did it with an artificial intelligence app. I’m scared. Some girls have also received it,” El País reported.
It soon became apparent that dozens of girls had been affected, and parents set up a WhatsApp group to provide support for the victims.
María Blanco Rayo, the mother of a 14-year-old, told BBC News the images were having a significant impact on some of the girls. Some “won’t even leave their house,” she said.
In the caption on her Instagram post, Al Adib wrote that things were “not going to stay like this. We are all here as one to stop this now.”
At least 10 people have been identified as suspects in the case, with police saying that some are 13 years old or younger. Children under 14 years of age cannot face criminal charges in Spain.
Spain’s national police force, la Policía Naciónal, is continuing to investigate the case.
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