Latest News

Previous blogs


AI and Deepfakes: What’s the Harm?

You may have heard of incidents happening in schools where sexually explicit AI-generated images of youth have been made and shared online. With most teens spending more time online during summer break, parents need to know the risks of AI apps and tools being used to create harmful images called “deepfakes.”

What are deepfakes?

Deepfakes are fake images, videos, or audio recordings that seem very realistic but have been altered using AI. Faces can be edited, expressions manipulated, and separate elements can be combined to produce something new.

In the past year,, Canada’s national tipline for online child sexual exploitation, processed close to 4,000 deepfakes.

What are the risks of AI and deepfakes?

People are creating sexually explicit deepfakes of children and youth to exploit and harass them. In cases of sextortion, deepfakes of victims are used to blackmail and threaten them if they don’t comply with the demands. Typically, boys are extorted for money and girls are extorted for more images. We’ve also seen more reports of AI-related incidents in schools, where students create deepfakes of their peers.

It’s important for youth to understand how harmful deepfakes can be — and you can start that conversation.

Talking points with youth about AI and deepfakes

  1. Ask them what they know about AI and what they’ve heard about it. Build on what they share to explain AI-generated content.
  2. Ask them if they think deepfakes could be harmful and what the risks could be. Tell them how sexually explicit deepfakes can be misused to harm youth and how serious it can be.
  3. You can also ask them “what-if” scenarios. For example, you can ask, “what if you heard someone bragging about a nude deepfake they created. What would you do?”
  4. Explain that even though the image is fake, the harm is very real. Talk about the real impacts on someone who is victimized by someone else.
  5. Explain that youths have rights to safety privacy, bodily autonomy, and sexual integrity. If someone violates their rights, share with them that you want to know so you can help them. Be open and show them that you’re on their side.

If a youth you know has been victimized, report to or visit to see how to report to various social media platforms.