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Aledo youth, mom lobby for protection with the Take it Down Act to combat revenge social media posts


Ana McAdams will go to the ends of the earth if necessary to prevent what happened to her daughter, Elliston Berry, from happening to anyone else. 

Berry is a victim of deepfake revenge porn. She and her mom began their quest by traveling to Washington, D.C. to lobby the United States Congress for legislation to provide protection from such acts. They were joined by Republican Senator Ted Cruz on June 18. 

Cruz is joining with other sponsors to push a bipartisan Bill entitled the “Take It Down Act,” which would make it a criminal offense to publish non-consensual intimate imagery.

Deepfake revenge porn is sexually explicit images created by artificial intelligence to harm or embarrass someone. 

Last fall, as a high school freshman, Berry woke up one morning to a barrage of texts. Someone used a program to alter photos of her and her friends to be sexually explicit and then shared the images on social media.

Shocking awakening

“Oct. 2, 2023 we woke up to our phones blowing up with news that devastated our lives forever. Oct. 1, 2023 a fellow classmate decided a fate for my daughter and her nine friends that they never would’ve imagined for themselves,” McAdams said. “He decided to take beautiful innocent pictures off of their social media platform and impose nude body parts onto the pictures. Through an AI app called DNG he was able to take their images and impose nudes onto them.”

McAdams said the culprit made multiple accounts on Snapchat. Then, using these accounts, she said he would friend request people and once they accepted he would blast them with the nudes of the girls.  

“It is important to draw attention to the fact that he didn’t take nudes and put their faces on them. Instead, he took their actual bodies and put nude body parts on them. It made the images even more real,” she continued. “These images are child pornography. These girls were 14 years old. Their innocence was taken that day as these figures were sent out over social media to their high school.”

Lack of punishment

McAdams confirmed a report that the student responsible for the images, while on probation now, will have charges dropped against him when he turns 18, something that greatly concerns her. 

“The guy was charged with sale/distribution/display of harmful material to a minor, but instead of having our day in court it never made it to the DA,” she said. “When he turns 18 his record will be expunged because he’s a minor. He will walk away from this situation unscathed. However, our girls will forever live in fear in the shadows that when they go to apply for a job or for college that these pictures might resurface,” she said. “He chose a fate for our daughters that we can’t change.”

Still trying to figure it all out

Berry said she is still trying to wrap her head around the whole ordeal.

“Having to admit to your parents was shameful as I still felt responsible and began to blame myself,” she said. “As I attended school, I was fearful of the reactions and opinions people had. 

“We live in a society that is built on social media, so I had been convinced at least the whole school had seen these images. And to this day, the number of people that have these images or have seen them is still a mystery.”

McAdams said when some of the girls’ friends asked why he did it, the young man’s response was that he wanted to go out with a bang and he wanted to ruin the girls.  

“When asked if he was suicidal, he agreed — according to kids that interacted with him on Snapchat,” she said. “In today’s world, those kind of words are some of the scariest. We live with school shootings and bombings on a regular basis in this country. You could only imagine the fear those words caused the girls. Would he come to school with guns and bombs with the intent to hurt them? Would he kill himself? The girls did not want to go to school. 

“We are still unclear to this day and why he did it and why he targeted our girls.”

Berry said she lives in fear each day that the images will resurface, noting that even though Snapchat took them down they can still be saved on individual devices.

More on the bill

The bill, which is receiving support across the board, would also require social media platforms to develop procedures to remove the images within 48 hours of receiving a valid request from a victim and to take reasonable steps to remove any copies. However, some members of congress are questioning how much responsibility should be given to tech companies to address the issue.

Under the bill, social media companies’ failure to comply would result in enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission.

McAdams said that a couple weeks ago Cruz’s office managed to get Snapchat to take the photos down after almost nine months.

“If we had been Taylor Swift, they would have come down immediately,” she said. “This is why this Take it Down bill is so crucial for moving forward in this new AI world. This bill gives a voice we didn’t have before.”


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  • JohnnyAledo

    Thanks for pushing for legislation.

    These children were harmed. Now let the civil suits against the parents, perpetrator and Snapchat commence as justice has not been served.

    Friday, June 28 Report this