An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

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On April 3, 2023, a Georgian-language Facebook page under the name “Orthodox Page” published a photo showing a fire lit in front of the church and several dozen people holding colourful flags. According to the post, the photo reflects an “Orthodox church in a foreign country,” claiming that “the more you tolerate the LGBT propagandists, the more they dare to do things like this.”

Screenshot 1 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

The photo showing fire and colourful flags in front of the church does not reflect reality. Several details, including glitchy visuals, unnatural contours, and misdesigned flags, hint that the photo has been generated by artificial intelligence. In addition, one of the Facebook pages published the mentioned photo on March 31 and wrote that it was generated by the artificial intelligence platform Midjourney.

1. Unnatural contours and faulty visuals

According to Forbes, one of the easiest ways to tell if a photo is AI-generated is to look at the hands, as hands are quite difficult to generate through Midjourney. If we look at the hand of one of the people standing on the right side of the church shown in the photo, we can see that his hand is not visible at all, and it has grown into a green figure, although it is not a flag. Most likely, this is a flaw made by artificial intelligence when generating the photo.

Screenshot 2 7 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

As the Washington Post writes, one of the defining features of AI photos is the painterly and glossy visuals. If we look at the trees on the left side of the photo and the flag in the air, we will notice that they look more like a painting than a photo.

Screenshot 3 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

2. Inaccuracies on flags

The author of the post writes that the photo was taken in front of an Orthodox church in a foreign country, and it also refers to the LGBTQ community. However, it should be noted that none of the flags shown in the photo is the so-called rainbow flag because there are inaccuracies in its colours. Also, the flags in the right part of the photo resemble the flags of Bolivia and Spain, so it is illogical to see these three imprecisely designed flags together in front of any Orthodox church.

In the right part of the photo, we see a number of colourful flags, but none of them is the so-called rainbow flag, even the flag that is visually closest to the rainbow flag is missing the last purple stripe.

Screenshot 4 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

In the right part of the photo, it is difficult to make out what flags people are holding. The red, yellow and green striped flag is similar to the Bolivian flag, although it lacks the Bolivian coat of arms. Similar is the case with the red and yellow colours of the flag, which is similar to the Spanish flag, although here again, the coat of arms of Spain, which is depicted on the Spanish flag, is not visible.

Screenshot 5 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

We also checked the photo with Reverse Image Search; however, during the search, none of the tools (1, 2, 3) found an identical or similar photo taken from a different perspective, which once again confirms that the photo does not depict an Orthodox temple located abroad.

Screenshot 6 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

On March 31, 2023, the Facebook page Programming Natural, and on April 6, Marketing Funny published the mentioned photo along with several other photos showing the ruins of houses and EU flags. The posts are accompanied by an identical description, according to which the photos were generated by the artificial intelligence platform Midjourney after being asked to show what Georgia would look like in 2050 if we became a member of the European Union.

Screenshot 7 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

To verify the authenticity of the AI-generated results posted by the Facebook pages shown above, Myth Detector sent a request to Midjourney to generate the same content. It should be noted that, despite the use of the phrase formulated in several ways, Midjourney did not generate the visuals of fire and pride flags in front of the church in the photo showing the state of the country after Georgia’s accession to the European Union.

Screenshot 8 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI? Screenshot 9 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

It should be noted that in several cases, the platform showed empty streets and post-apocalyptic visual buildings when presenting the image of “Georgia joined to the European Union” in 2050; similar visuals were generated when asking to imagine Georgia in 2050 as well.

Screenshot 10 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI? Screenshot 11 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

The platform generated photos of the church only after we sent the request using precise wording. Considering this, we can say that if we do not give Midjourney specifics and details, it will not use new details that were not mentioned in the instruction when generating photos.

Screenshot 12 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

About “Programming Natural” and “Marketing Funny”

The Facebook page “Programming Natural” was created on January 26, 2023, and according to the provided information, it is an information technology company. In addition, the address indicated on the page is Ukraine, one of the villages of the Kharkiv region, the phone number also has a Ukrainian code, and the e-mail address in the name of Melanija Isaeva is Latvian.

Screenshot 13 4 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

The photo used by the page as a profile photo can be found on pexels.com, a platform for visual materials for commercial use.

Screenshot 14 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

In the Facebook ad library, several posts sponsored by Programming Natural in April and March can be seen, which are directed against the European Union and are mainly memes, but these posts cannot be searched directly on Facebook.

Screenshot 15 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

The Programming Natural Facebook page is no longer available at this point, but an identical post on the AI-generated photos was posted on a similar page called Marketing Funny. Like Programming Natural, Marketing Funny’s address is in Ukraine, this time, it is in the Kherson region, and its phone number has a Ukrainian code as well.

Screenshot 16 6 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

It should be noted that Marketing Funny also has sponsored identical posts against the European Union, in which the emphasis is placed on the fact that Georgia is not accepted in the European Union.

Screenshot 17 5 An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?

Arhive Links:

Orthodox Page

Programming Natural

Marketing Funny


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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