Fact Check: Deepfake images of Donald Trump’s arrest create chaos on social media
The viral pictures of Donald Trump’s arrest circulating online are fake and are generated through an AI application Midjourney. The pictures were digitally created to spread awareness about technology – its use and misuse!
- By Vishvas News
- Updated: March 24, 2023
New Delhi (Vishvas News): A debate on the pros and cons of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology blew the roof off after the pictures of former US President Donald Trump getting arrested went viral on social media. Many believed the information that led to confusion and chaos on the internet, however, Vishvas News in its investigation found the deepfake images to be digitally created to spread awareness about technologies.
Facebook user ‘Imaculada Gouveia Leite’ shared the viral post:
“BREAKING: TRUMP GOES LIVE MOMENTS BEFORE SHOCK ARREST! SHOCKING VIDEOS & DOCUMENTS
Everything is ready and assets are in place but they will shut us down. THE WHOLE WORLD IS CHANGING AT THIS MOMENT!
We believe TRUMP was biding his time and waited for the perfect moment to step in and save the country. This is MASSIVE!
(TRUMP CALLED EVERYONE ONLINE)
WHAT IS HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES?
WHAT IS THE MEDIA HIDING FROM US?
CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT HE ALREADY SAID…
HE NEEDS OUR SUPPORT NOW MORE THAN EVER ⬇️
Join here https: // t.me/+ OaWbDHrKxAtjMzk8
Pray for TRUMP!”
Other users also shared similar posts on social media.
First, Vishvas News scanned different search engines for reports on Donald Trump’s arrest but found none. Reuters, CNN, and many others in their reports slammed ‘Trump for misleading people to expect he would be arrested this week and calls for protests’.
Other news reports also talked about how these deepfake images of Trump’s arrest show the rise of disruptive AI.
Later, Vishvas News did an open Google search of the keywords from the post and found similar claims on Twitter. We also identified a post, similar to the source. The post was put up on social media by Eliot Higgins and it said, “Making pictures of Trump getting arrested while waiting for Trump’s arrest.”
In his Twitter thread, there were many similar creations. When Vishvas News contacted him via email, he responded, “I created them using Midjourney. I was mainly sharing them to show what Midjourney could do, to begin with, then made a little narrative to test what Midjourney could do. I’ve made some points at the end of the thread you’ll probably be interested in.”
His Twitter profile description reads: ‘Founder and creative director of Bellingcat and director of Bellingcat Productions BV. Author of We Are Bellingcat. Tonal Whiplash Zone.’ However, after his creations went online, Midjourney banned him from their site.
For those who do not know about Midjourney, it is an AI program created by a San Francisco-based independent research lab that generates images from natural language descriptions, called “prompts”, similar to OpenAI’s DALL-E and Stable Diffusion.
To understand how these images were generated by AI we spoke to expert Swapneel Mehta, PhD scholar, at NYU Data Science, whose research deals with limiting the disinformation on social media using tools from machine learning.
He explained, “The democratisation of generative art without safeguards like source tracking creates complex detection and moderation challenges that allow the adversarial actors to exploit social networks to spread misinformation like the fake news spread around generative art depicting Trump’s arrest.”
“Provenance or source tracking is essential to avoid the misuse of AI-generated content, a growing area of concern, particularly for social networks which offer an instantaneous distribution channel before content can be verified,” Mehta added.
The social scan of the user, who shared the viral post, is a digital creator from Dili (Congo) and is followed by nearly 9000 followers on Facebook.
Conclusion: The viral pictures of Donald Trump’s arrest circulating online are fake and are generated through an AI application Midjourney. The pictures were digitally created to spread awareness about technology – its use and misuse!
- Claim Review : Donald Trump gets arrested in hush-money payment case.
- Claimed By : Fb user: Imaculada Gouveia Leite
- Fact Check : False
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