Spain court sentences 15 schoolchildren for spreading AI-generated naked images of classmates

Spain court sentences 15 schoolchildren for spreading AI-generated naked images of classmates

Fifteen schoolchildren in south-west Spain were sentenced by a court to probation for spreading AI-generated naked images of their female classmates.

“The sentence notes that it has been proved that the minors used artificial intelligence applications to obtain manipulated images of [other minors] by taking girls’ original faces from their social media profiles and superimposing those images on the bodies of naked female bodies,” the court said in a statement.

“The manipulated photos were then shared on two WhatsApp groups,” it added.

Each teenager was given a year’s probation in a case that has sparked debate over the abusive use of such technology.

The incident reportedly came to light when parents in Almendralejo reported that fake naked pictures of their daughters were being circulated on WhatsApp.

The victims suffered anxiety and fear due to these images, the parents claimed.

The youth court in Badajoz convicted the minors of creating child abuse images and offences against the victims’ moral integrity. The defendants were also ordered to attend classes on gender equality and responsible technology use.

The Malvaluna Association, which acted on behalf of the affected families, emphasised the need for proper sex education to prevent children from learning about sex through pornography, which fosters sexism and violence.

“Beyond this particular trial, these facts should make us reflect on the need to educate people about equality between men and women,” the association was quoted as saying by the online newspaper

It was reported that at least 20 girls may have been victims of these manipulated photos.

“Many girls were completely terrified and had tremendous anxiety attacks because they were suffering this in silence,” a mother of one of the victims was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“They felt bad and were afraid to tell and be blamed for it.”

Last year in October, a new report warned that the alarming spread of child sexual abuse images on the internet could worsen significantly if controls are not imposed on AI tools that generate deepfake photos.

The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation urged governments and technology providers to act swiftly to prevent a surge of AI-generated images of child sexual abuse.

Last month, a teenager was arrested and subsequently released after fake nude images of 50 female students at a private school in Australia were circulated on social media.

Images of the students from Bachhus Marsh Grammar School in Victoria were doctored using artificial intelligence to create “obscene” and “incredibly graphic” content before being shared on Instagram and Snapchat, the school said.