Pennsylvania Cheerleader’s Mom Accused of Making ‘Deepfakes’ of Rivals

March 18, 2021

A Pennsylvania woman is accused of doctoring photos and video of her daughter’s cheerleading rivals to try to get them kicked off the squad, officials said.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office last week charged Raffaela Spone, 50, with three misdemeanor counts of cyber harassment of a child and related offenses.

Spone manipulated photos from social media of three girls on the Victory Vipers cheerleading squad in Chalfont to make it appear they were drinking, smoking and even nude, investigators said.

How a Social Media Fad Is Turning into a Cyber, Fraud Risk for Insurers

Anyone who uses social media has probably come across deepfakes, which refer to media such as videos, photos or audio that have been modified using artificial intelligence. As the technology becomes more advanced, it’s raising questions over the impact to insurers as they attempt to fight fraud or prepare for cyber attacks.

Check out this episode of The Insuring Cyber Podcast where two experts are consulted about what deepfakes are, how to spot them and what this area of cyber risk means for insurers.

Spone also sent messages with the so-called “deepfake” pictures to the the girls and suggested they kill themselves, officials said.

Spone’s attorney, Robert Birch, told WPVI-TV he can’t comment because he said the DA hasn’t presented any evidence.

“She has absolutely denied what they’re charging her with and because of the fact that this has hit the press, she has received death threats. She has had to go to the police herself, they have a report,” Birch said. “Her life has been turned upside down.”

The cheerleading team expressed sympathy for the families involved and said the team has a “very strict anti-bullying policy.”

Topics Pennsylvania

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.