CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

High schooler calls for AI regulations after manipulated pornographic images of her and others shared online

Nov 6, 2023, 8:55 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

Francesca Mani, 14, and her mother Dorota Mani speak with CNN's Michael Smerconish on November 4.
(...

Francesca Mani, 14, and her mother Dorota Mani speak with CNN's Michael Smerconish on November 4. (Mandatory Credit: CNN)

(Mandatory Credit: CNN)

(CNN) — A student at a New Jersey high school is calling for federal legislation to address AI generated pornographic images after she says photos of her and other female classmates were manipulated and possibly shared online over the summer.

Westfield High School student Francesca Mani, 14, and her mother, Dorota, have expressed frustration over what they say is a lack of legal recourse in place to protect victims of AI-generated pornography.

“In this situation, there was some boys or a boy — that’s to be determined — who created, without the consent of the girls, inappropriate images,” Dorota said, speaking with CNN’s Michael Smerconish Saturday.

Francesca, who said she was among more than 30 female students at Westfield High School whose photos were manipulated and possibly shared publicly, is demanding accountability from the school and local, state, and government officials.

School administrators initially became aware of the incident on October 20 when students informed them the images were created and possibly shared over the summer.

“There was a great deal of concern about who had images created of them and if they were shared,” Westfield Principal Mary Asfendis wrote in a letter to students and parents sent on October 20. “At this time, we believe that any created images have been deleted and are not being circulated. This is a very serious incident.”

Westfield High School has since conducted its own investigation and the Westfield Police Department and the school’s appointed resource officer “were immediately notified and consulted throughout the investigation,” according to school spokesperson Mary Ann McGann. CNN has contacted the Westfield Police Department for comment.

McGann told CNN the school is not able “to provide specific details on the number of students involved and any disciplinary actions imposed, as matters involving students are confidential.”

The school provided CNN with a statement from Superintendent Dr. Raymond González, who said, “All school districts are grappling with the challenges and impact of artificial intelligence and other technology available to students at any time and anywhere.”

González added, “The Westfield Public School District has safeguards in place to prevent this from happening on our network and school-issued devices. We continue to strengthen our efforts by educating our students and establishing clear guidelines to ensure that these new technologies are used responsibly in our schools and beyond.”

Dorota said she’s proud of her daughter for speaking up and advocating not only for herself, but on behalf of other young girls who have also been victimized by AI generated deepfake pornographic content.

“I think this issue is more complex than just Westfield High School, and this is our time and opportunity to treat it as a teachable platform, to shed the light on this important issue,” she said.

Dorota said her daughter has urged her to see if there are any laws in New Jersey protecting against deepfake images or videos and has also written a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to urge state governors to make sure there are laws in place to protect underage girls and boys.

CNN has reached out to the New Jersey Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the White House for comment.

Intelligence officials in the US have warned about the sharp rise in deepfake videos, which may look convincingly real but are generated using artificial intelligence. In California, bills have been written to combat the use of deepfakes in nonconsensual pornography.

CNN’s Samantha Beech contributed to this report.

Related: Utah lawmakers want AI regulation in schools

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

A photo taken of Matthew Perry in 2022....

Clayre Scott

Criminal investigation opened in relation to Matthew Perry’s death

A criminal investigation has been opened in relation to Matthew Perry's death due to high levels of ketamine found in his blood.

14 hours ago

Dr Kathy Raven, a forensic pathologist testifies about tammy daybell's cause of death...

DANIEL WOODRUFF, KSL TV

Forensic pathologist called by defense says Tammy Daybell’s cause of death ‘undetermined’

A forensic pathologist testified in the murder trial of Chad Daybell that the death of his wife, Tammy Daybell, would be best classified as "undetermined."

17 hours ago

Police officers were responding Wednesday to a “confirmed active shooter” in a building at the ...

Sam Herrera

Suspect killed after alleged kidnapping in Millcreek

The Unified Police Department said officers got a call about a suspected kidnapping and hostage situation in Millcreek before the officer-involved shooting.

20 hours ago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the courtroom after a break on the first day of his t...

Sam Herrera

Defense rests case in Trump hush money trial

The defense in the hush money trial rested its case just a day after the prosecution rested.

1 day ago

DeAnn Rasmussen Kilgore at the cemetery where her first husband, Jordan Rasmussen, is buried, March...

Amy Donaldson

Letters lead to meeting killer, life-changing moment

SANDY – The question made her stomach churn. DeAnn Rasmussen Kilgore listened as her sister-in-law explained that not only had she written a letter forgiving the man who killed DeAnn’s husband, but he’d written back.  “I distinctly remember when she called me and told me that she had received a reply to her letter,” DeAnn […]

1 day ago

one of chad daybell and tammy daybell's children, daughter Emma Murray takes the stand...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Chad Daybell daughter says her mother’s health was declining before she died

Chad Daybell's daughter Emma Murrary took the stand as the defense in the Chad Daybell murder trial began presenting its case Monday.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

High schooler calls for AI regulations after manipulated pornographic images of her and others shared online