It all started with a video posted on Facebook. A ballet by three friends aged 15 to 16, students in a high school in Rome. A harmless video that, because of a tasteless joke, turned into what seemed at first glance to be a revenge porn affair, but which is in reality a teenage prank whose repercussions put all three girls and their parents put to the test. . Young people in the Frascati neighborhood “don't want to leave their homes anymore for fear of being mocked and offended by this video” explains the mother of one of them quoted by Messenger. The three friends “are devastated and we are with them,” said the mother of one of the victims who, along with the other parents, turned to the postal police to shed light on the matter.

The app that “undresses” girls

After finding the ballet video, three boys aged 14 to 17, including two students from the same high school, decided to use it to create a deepfake. So they uploaded it to one of the many platforms which, thanks to artificial intelligence, “strives” subjects from the images submitted to them, so precisely that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish whether a video or one photo has been manipulated or less. Having obtained the video of the dance in which the victims appear naked, the three men began to distribute it, sending it to friends and acquaintances. Before long, the video was available to everyone, including those of the three victims. However, the girls, once they received the content, did not give any weight to the question. It was clear to them that these were not their real bodies.

Insults on the bus to school

But the same clarity was not there for everyone. When they boarded the bus to go to school, the three felt the gaze of their classmates, many of whom, according to their testimonies, judged and humiliated them. Laughter, insults, comments: “We recognized you, we know who you are.” “My daughter and her friends were so ashamed that they got off the bus and didn't have the courage to go to school. And they still haven't come back, they don't want to,” said the mother of one of the victims. Along with the other parents, the woman contacted the school, but the institute did not reveal the name of the three authors of the deepfake for confidentiality reasons.

“They don’t want to go back to high school”

So they went to the police with a complaint against unknown persons, which will soon be included in the names of the three executioners. After warning the authorities, in fact, the school suggested that the families of the victims and the children come together to make the perpetrators of the deepfake understand the seriousness of their act. The meeting will take place next week, but in the meantime we need to convince the girls to return to school. “It won’t be easy, they’re really trying. And luckily, we intervened immediately and had the video removed. I can't imagine what could have happened if this had been posted on porn sites. In this case, a tragedy could really happen,” the woman concludes.

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