A Pennsylvania woman was arrested last week after police discovered she had created “deepfake” videos of her daughter’s cheerleading rivals in an apparent effort to harass and intimidate them.
Charged with multiple misdemeanors, the woman’s alleged crimes involve sending videos to cheerleading team coaches and targeted girls that had been altered using AI-powered software to give the felt that team members were engaging in lewd or rule-breaking behavior.
The case is being handled by Bucks County District Attorney’s Office Matt Weintraub, who recently told reporters the woman also sent anonymous messages to the victims harassing them, including statements urging the cheerleaders to commit suicide.
Local reports indicate that the woman’s actions were aimed at forcing her daughter’s rivals out of the team – all indications the daughter was unaware of her mother’s actions.
Background: Detectives tracked down the woman after tracing the phone numbers used to send messages to the cheerleaders. According to reports, the phone numbers lead to a company that sells Deepfakes to marketing teams. It is not known at this time whether the woman works for the company, applied for her job, or created the Deepfakes herself.
Quick setting: Don’t believe everything you see. Deepfakes has been around for a few years now, and a number of people have been arrested for their misuse.
We’ve seen them to entertain and amaze, but it’s been clear since their inception that Deepfakes pose a danger to society.
Fortunately, there are still ways to detect Deepfakes. But that could change quickly as developers figure out how to overcome the platform’s shortcomings.
As the skills and level of technology needed to discern the difference between a Deepfake and the real thing continues to increase, we’re almost certain to see more situations like this.
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Published March 15, 2021 – 17:46 UTC