back to article ICYMI: A mom is accused of harassing daughter's cheerleader rivals with humiliating deepfake vids

A 50-year-old mother allegedly used machine-learning software to generate fake footage of her young daughter's cheerleader rivals naked, drinking booze, and vaping in a bid to drive them out of their squad. Rafaella Spone was this month arrested and charged with three counts apiece of harassment and cyber harassment of a child …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cybermom crime is apparently on the rise ...

  2. WolfFan


    The Kathleen Turner movie _Serial Mom_ was supposed to be a comedy, not a guide to proper maternal behavior.

  3. Sparkus

    The use of 'AI'

    did not extend to trying to use even the most basic of identity / location obfuscation.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: The use of 'AI'

      Oh, there was plenty of artificial intelligence in play here.

      Just no actual human intelligence.

      1. RM Myers

        Re: The use of 'AI'

        We need an AI that provides common sense, that most uncommon of human qualities.

        Are we sure she wasn't from Florida? Or is it "Florida man", but "Pennsylvania woman", in the race to the bottom of the gene pool.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: basic obfuscation

      Mrs Spone sent her fakes via a VOIP service so the recipients would not be able to trace them back to her. She used the same service from her home internet connection for all the fakes so it took minimal effort from the police to identify the source house hold. Her OPSEC was sufficient for a minor irritation but not sufficient for committing a crime.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utterly disgusting

    I hope the woman gets serious jail time for that. She clearly didn't consider how she'd feel if her daughter were targeted like that, or what it is like to be the target of such abuse. It's bad enough having male ne'erdowells do this sort of thing (Guys - I know it's only a small percentage of males that are that sick; I'm not having a go at all of you!) without having other women get in on the act as well! I hope her child is OK, as clearly the mother isn't a good parent.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Utterly disgusting

      The father is quite lucky that he doesn't live with them (assuming he's still alive) - if he did, there's a good chance his name would be on the bills and he'd be the one going to jail.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    When I was a kid....

    Mums would compete by trying to make the most attractive cup-cakes to sell at the school fete.

    How times change.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    We all shoulid welcome more women in IT...

    .... regardless of the outcome, I guess....

  7. Ciaran McHale

    Might a charge of child pornography be brought against the woman?

    Does a photo of a naked female (presumably above the age of consent) with a deep-fake photo of an under-the-age-of-consent teenage girl's face super-imposed upon it count as child pornography? If so, does anyone know why such a charge has not yet been brought against the woman?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Might a charge of child pornography be brought against the woman?

      CARTOON stuff like this counts in most lawbooks, so "probably"

      I believe there have already been some prosecutions about superimposed images (deepfakes)

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Might a charge of child pornography be brought against the woman?

        I head about this on a Radio 4 program. Another example was where some 'revenge deep fake porn' used a lady's face, on a body committing various unsavoury pornographic acts, and associated it with her actual name. She was naturally very distressed by this when she found out.

        In the UK and EU, I suspect that such deefakery would be in breach of data protection legislation as processing personal information (in this case an identifiable face and name) so as to cause great distress to the individual is unlawful. Anyone form Pincent Mason law firm still posting on el Reg (they used to be quite a regular feature) who can offer an opinion (for free, I cannot afford your fees right now).

  8. Dabooka

    Checked the news source

    I expected it to be The Onion.

    What the hell has happened to the world?!

    1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

      Re: Checked the news source

      "What the hell has happened to the world?!"

      Enabled by an orange golf cheat.

  9. jh27

    Given that the mother and daughter reside in the same household, how do they know who created or sent the images? Legally speaking, the mother is responsible for the connection and anything sent over the connection, as her name is on the bill - regardless of who was actually using the connection.

  10. Blackjack Silver badge

    Twenty years ago this would have been a plot of a movie.

    1. Red Ted

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