Residents of the Spanish town Almendralejo are grappling with the most distressing situation as explicit AI-generated images of a number of local young girls have flooded social media to the shock of all the parents, guardians, and others.
Some of the girls are reported to be as young as 11 and up to 17 years old. These obscene images, created without the girls' knowledge or consent, have been circulating widely on various social media platforms.
These images were primarily sourced from the girls' own social media accounts and subsequently manipulated by an AI application to produce fabricated nude representations of the individuals.
Nearly 20-30 girls, aged between 11 and 17, have bravely come forward as victims of the incident.
María Blanco Rayo, the mother of a 14-year-old, told the BBC, "One day my daughter came out of school and she said 'Mum there are photos circulating of me topless'. I asked her if she had taken any photos of herself unclothed, 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.''
Dr. Miriam Al Adib, another parent of a victim, took to Instagram to share her anguish. She expressed the disturbingly realistic nature of these manipulated images, which left her 14-year-old daughter deeply unsettled.
''If I didn't know my daughter's body, this photo looks real. You (the culprits) are not aware of the damage you are causing. Using images to create this disgusting material and distributing them is a very serious crime,'' she said.
"Girls, don't be afraid to report such acts. Tell your mothers. Affected mothers, tell me so that you can be in the group that we created," she added.
Local law enforcement has received 11 complaints from victims, all of whom are minors. In response, the parents of these young victims have rallied together to create a support network aimed at helping their children navigate through this harrowing experience.
According to reports from the BBC, at least 11 local boys have been identified as either involved in generating these obscene images or sharing them via messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.
Authorities are also probing an alleged extortion attempt against one of the girls involving a falsified image.
A spokesperson from the local police, speaking to AFP, disclosed that the individuals responsible for these reprehensible actions superimposed the innocent faces of these girls onto the bodies of others in explicit images.
This egregious violation of privacy underscores the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and legal safeguards to protect individuals, particularly minors, from such heinous breaches in the digital era.