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Mom Charged in Deepfake Cheerleading Plot

Raffaela Marie Spone, a 50-year-old mom from Pennsylvania, has been arrested after allegedly leveraging deepfake technology to target several of her daughter’s cheerleading rivals. The incident shows how dangerous deepfake technology is, as Spone used it to tarnish the girls’ reputations. Spone allegedly created deepfake videos that showed the girls drinking, smoking, and naked. The videos were then sent to the cheerleaders’ coach in an attempt to get them kicked off the team.

The altered content was allegedly pulled from the girls’ social media accounts. According to the Hilltown Township Police Department, Stone was previously under investigation after a minor reported being harassed via text message. Additional girls came forward, experiencing the same thing and part of the same cheerleading team, the Victory Vipers. Stone allegedly also sent the deepfake videos to the girls via text, along with horrific messages telling them to engage in self-harm. Police arrested Stone after discovering evidence on her phone linking her to the texts and images.

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