AI-generated nude images of teenage girls have been circulating in a high school in Westfield, New Jersey, causing concern among parents, school officials, and local law enforcement. The incident came to light in October when girls at the school discovered that manipulated images of them were being shared in group chats by male students. The identity of the individuals responsible for creating the fake nudes remains unknown.
Westfield High School confirmed the incident but declined to disclose the names of any students involved to protect confidentiality. School principal Mary Asfendis referred to the situation as a “very serious incident” in an email sent on October 20. She stated her belief that the images had been deleted and were no longer in circulation.
Parents of the affected girls reported the incident to local police and their state senator, seeking guidance on how to address the issue. However, the lack of specific laws regarding the distribution of manipulated pornographic content has made it challenging to take appropriate action. Only a few states, including New York, have enacted legislation banning the dissemination of fake porn or granting victims the right to pursue civil lawsuits.
The rapid advancement of AI technology has outpaced the development of legal frameworks to address its potential misuse. While both the White House and the state of New Jersey have recently established AI task forces, any resulting laws are expected to take a considerable amount of time to enact.
The girls at Westfield High School are left uncertain about the resolution of their situation and whether any consequences will be faced by those responsible for creating and sharing the images. Some of the victims expressed discomfort with having to attend school alongside the individuals they suspect to be involved.
The incident in Westfield bears similarities to a situation that occurred in Spain in September, highlighting the global nature of this issue.