Monday, June 17, 2024

‘It’s appalling’: Melbourne principal slams fake nude photos of female students believed to be generated using AI

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A teenager has been arrested after a series of explicit images of students at a school north-west of Melbourne was circulated online.

Victoria Police said the boy has been released pending further enquiries and its investigation is ongoing.

The principal of Bacchus Marsh Grammar, Andrew Neal, said about 50 girls from the school have been targeted. 

He said it appears images of their faces were taken from social media sites before being manipulated using AI to make “obscene photographs”.  

“It’s appalling. It is something that strikes to the heart of students, particularly girls growing up at this age,” he said. 

“They should be able to learn and go about their business without this kind of nonsense.”

Mr Neal said the students, who are in years 9 to 12, are being supported while the school works with police to get the images removed and to find the person or group responsible. 

“Logic would suggest that the most likely individual is someone at the school … or a group of people from the school, however, the police and the school are not ruling out any other possibility as well,” he said. 

A Victoria Police spokesperson said its investigation is ongoing.

“Officers were told a number of images were sent to a person in the Melton area via an online platform on Friday, June 7,” the spokesperson said.  

‘These things are not funny’, principal says

Mr Neal said he did not think the incident was reflective of the school community. 

He said the school provides education for students around this type of behaviour but that “basically it comes down to individual morals”.

“Schools and individuals work to mitigate [these behaviours] and change behaviours but in a sense they are also reflective of the society in general,” he said.

“We can continue to work in a positive way to change behaviours and that is something that we will continue to do and ramp up, but equally there are some individuals who don’t want to hear the message and they need to be dealt with appropriately.” 

Mr Neal said a number of the girls reported the photos to the school as well as police when they became aware of the images on social media.

“These things are not funny … they are basically vicious and therefore they should be dealt with appropriately,” Mr Neal said.  

“It’s behaviour that needs to be dealt with in as firm a way as possible.” 

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