(BBC) A sleepy town in southern Spain is in shock after it emerged that AI-generated naked images of young local girls had been circulating on social media without their knowledge.
The pictures were created using photos of the targeted girls fully clothed, many of them taken from their own social media accounts.
These were then processed by an application that generates an imagined image of the person without clothes on.
So far more than 20 girls, aged between 11 and 17, have come forward as victims of the app’s use in or near Almendralejo, in the south-western province of Badajoz.
“One day my daughter came out of school and she said ‘Mum there are photos circulating of me topless’,” says María Blanco Rayo, the mother of a 14-year-old.
“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.’”
She says the parents of 28 girls affected have formed a support group in the town.
Police are now investigating and according to reports, at least 11 local boys have been identified as having involvement in either the creation of the images or their circulation via the WhatsApp and Telegram apps.
Investigators are also looking into the claim that an attempt was made to extort one of the girls by using a fake image of her.
The impact the images’ circulation has had on the girls affected varies. Ms Blanco Rayo says her daughter is bearing up well, but that some girls “won’t even leave their house”.
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