Woman arrested for using deepfake tech to harass, frame daughter's cheerleading rivals | Inquirer News
Close  

Woman arrested for using deepfake tech to harass, frame daughter’s cheerleading rivals

/ 05:26 PM March 16, 2021
Police lights at night

INQUIRER.net Stock Photo

In a disturbing use of deepfake technology, a mother from Pennsylvania in the United States has been arrested for framing her daughter’s cheerleading rivals for lewd acts they did not commit.

Raffaela Spone, 50, digitally put the faces of members of the Victory Vipers squad in “naked, drinking and smoking” photos and videos and sent these to their coach, as per The Philadelphia Inquirer on March 13.

ADVERTISEMENT

She also sent these fake images to the girls themselves and harassed them, including telling them to kill themselves, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub’s office said as cited by the report.

Spone last year produced manipulated photos of at least three members of the Victory Vipers, a traveling cheerleading squad. Parents of the victims contacted the police after their daughters received threats from an anonymous number, which turned out to have been Spone’s.

FEATURED STORIES

Upon analysis, the content Spone sent to the coach and the victims themselves were found to have been deepfakes, which she generated by using the girls’ photos on social media, according to the report.

Detectives were able to trace the unknown number to Spone after they found a website that sells phone numbers to telemarketers, which is where Spone got the girls’ numbers.

Upon investigation of her phone, authorities determined that Spone was the person harassing and sending the fake photos to the victims.

It was not determined whether Spone created the deepfakes herself or if she hired someone to do it for her. There is also no evidence that her teenage daughter, who is in high school, had knowledge of her actions, the report said.

Spone was charged with misdemeanor counts of cyber harassment of a child and related offenses earlier this month but has since been released on the condition that she appears at a preliminary hearing on March 30.

While disturbing, it is not the first time such use of the technology has been recorded. For one, security firm Sensity last year reported that 104,852 women were targeted in July alone to have an artificial-intelligence-powered bot create nude deepfakes of them, which were shared online by thousands of users. Ian Biong /ra

RELATED STORIES:

ADVERTISEMENT

Assistant principal, daughter arrested after tampering with students’ data to get Homecoming Queen title

Fooling deepfake detectors is possible according to American scientists

A deepfake bot generated ‘nude’ pictures of over 100,000 women

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: cheerleading, Cybercrime, deepfake, Mothers, Pennsylvania, photo manipulation, United States
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.