Mums’ horror at naked AI images of daughters as young as 11 being spread online
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A Spanish town has been left in shock after AI-generated naked images of local girls were circulated online.
Almost 30 girls aged 11 to 17 have come forward as victims in Almendralejo in the province of Badajoz.
Said pictures were created using photos of the girls fully clothed and taken from their social media accounts. The true images were put into an Artificial Intelligence app which generates them without clothes.
María Blanco Rayo, the mother of a 14-year-old, told the BBC: “One day my daughter came out of school and she said ‘Mum there are photos circulating of me topless’.
“I asked her if she had taken any photos of herself nude, and she said, ‘No, Mum, these are fake photos of girls that are being created a lot right now and there are other girls in my class that this has happened to as well.'”
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Police are investigating and, according to reports, at least 11 local boys have been identified as having been involved in the creation or circulation of the pictures via WhatsApp and Telegram.
They are also looking into a claim that an attempt was made to extort one of the girls by using a fake image of her.
While some girls, such as Ms Blanco Rayo’s daughter, are “bearing up”, there are others who “won’t even leave their house”.
Gema Lorenzo, who had a 16-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter said: “Those of us who have kids are very worried.
“You’re worried about two things: if you have a son you worry he might have done something like this; and if you have a daughter, you’re even more worried, because it’s an act of violence.”
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The story has made national headlines in Spain thanks to the efforts of Miriam Al Adib, one of the girl’s mothers.
The gynaecologist with a large social media presence said in an online video: “We didn’t know how many children had the images, if they had been uploaded to pornographic sites – we had all those fears.
“When you are the victim of a crime, if you are robbed for example, you file a complaint and you don’t hide because the other person has caused you harm. But with crimes of a sexual nature the victim often feels shame and hides and feels responsible. So I wanted to give that message: it’s not your fault.
“Women from different parts of the world have written to me explaining that this has happened to them and they don’t know what to do.
“Right now this is happening across the world. The only difference is that in Almendralejo we have made a fuss about it.”
Spanish law does not cover the creation of sexual images involving adults but these images could be deemed child pornography.
The concern is that these AI apps are becoming increasingly commonplace, with AI-generated topless images of singer Rosalía circulating online earlier this year.
Javier Izquierdo, head of children’s protection in the national police’s cyber-crime unit, said these kinds of crimes are no longer confined “to the guy who downloads child porn from the Dark Web or from some hidden internet forum”.
He added: “That obviously is still going on, but now the new challenges we are facing are the access that minors have at such an early age to such technology, such as in this case.”
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