A 27-year-old Singaporean woman, who posted an innocuous selfie on social media over a year ago, found the same image last week on a sex forum but in this she was naked.
The woman, who wanted to be called Rose, was shocked and disgusted after The New Paper told her about the nude picture.
There are several Singaporean women along with Rose who became victims of such incidents as they found out that their pictures were first stolen from social media platforms and then doctored and uploaded to the sex forum. Some of these obscene pictures were also circulated on pornographic websites.
These nude pictures are believed to have been changed by using an app called DeepNude, which allows users to create naked images of women in a single click.
It should be noted that in this online app, the programmer used neural networks to remove the clothing of women from images and due to its sleazy nature and it has been downloaded by thousands of users within a short period of time.
The creator of DeepNude app listed theirs as Estonia but shut down the operation in June after facing backlash on social media. They stated that the app was created only for entertainment purpose and they did not expect that it would go viral.
But the problem is, even though they stopped the operation, several versions of DeepNude app have been shared via download links on the sex forum and these platforms have a high number of visitors from Singapore.
In the case of the naked images of Rose, she believes that the circulation of her doctored picture had led to a recent surge in followers on her social media accounts. Now she wants to make her social accounts private.
As per the New Paper, a lawyer, Fong Wei Li said that using such apps to change someone's photo to make them appear naked is a criminal offence similar to taking a nude picture according to the law.
He also added that if the offenders think that they can hide behind the walls of the internet using fake names then they should know that identification is just a matter of time but not impossible.
"With their resources, the police can break through the barrier of anonymity to identify the people responsible," he said.
While referring to the Films Act, lawyer Gloria James stated that anyone who creates such pictures shall be liable for a fine of up to $40,000, a jailed term of up to two years, or both.
The convicts under this act can also be charged with the insult of modesty, which includes imprisonment up to a year, a fine or both.
Lawyers suggested that the victims can use the Protection from Harassment Act to identify the culprits.
Tan Ern Ser, a sociologist from the National University of Singapore said that that apps like DeepNude will always be in demand as "consumers of such products are similarly eager to share their discoveries with like-minded people on their social networks."
A few weeks ago in an exclusive talk with the Motherboard, the anonymous creator who requested to go by the name Alberto stated: "I also said to myself: the technology is ready within everyone's reach. So if someone has bad intentions, having DeepNude doesn't change much... If I don't do it, someone else will do it in a year."
In a Tweet he also wrote, "Despite the safety measures adopted, if 500000 people use it, the probability that people will misuse it is too high. We don't want to make money this way."