Channel 5 News Tonight

Interviewed on Channel 5 News Tonight by Claudia-Liza Armah to discuss the deepfaked cheerleader video (16 March 2021).


A woman in the United States is alleged to have used photographs of her daughter’s classmates to create a disturbing deepfake video. Raffaele Spone allegedly depicted the girls naked, drinking, and smoking, and then shared the video with the cheerleading coach. Spone hoped the girls would then face disciplinary action, and be kicked off of the high school cheerleading team. It is understood that she hoped the move would benefit her own daughter, who was apparently unaware of the plan.


This story underscores four key points that we should all be aware of when it comes to manipulated, AI-generated videos like deepfakes. Firstly, the technology to create deepfakes is increasingly easy to use, and is becoming more widespread. Secondly, deepfakes can be used to target private individuals – including children. Thirdly, it would be difficult to enforce an outright ban on deepfakes in practice. Finally, the current legal and practical implications for removing unwanted deepfakes are complicated. Read more here.


Claudia-Liza Armah interviews Kelsey Farish in the video, shown below:

Channel 5 News Tonight