Since May 5, 2023, Georgian- (1,2,3,4,5,6) and Russian-language (1,2) Facebook accounts have been distributing several photos showing a group of children and horned creatures reading books to children. In some of the photos, the children are wearing horns; in one of the photos, they are wearing black clothes and sitting in a circle, which features a star-like figure in the centre, which creates the impression that the children are performing a satanic ritual. According to the description attached to some of the posts, the photos show an after-school club meeting in the US state of Pennsylvania. Notably, some of the posts do not specify where the photos were taken.
The photos disseminated on Facebook are generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and do not depict a school club meeting in Pennsylvania.
The disseminated photos are generated by AI
The photos that went viral on Facebook belong to the user The Pumpkin Empress, who shared the photos on her Facebook page on May 2 with the caption, “Don’t forget to support your local BBC (Baphomet Book Club). Raise your Satanists right!”
Later, the author published the photos on his Tiktok and Instagram profiles. In the comments section of the posts, the author has repeatedly confirmed that the photos are generated by artificial intelligence.
On May 6, 2023, the author corrected the Facebook post and added a clarification to the description, confirming once again that the photos do not reflect an actual event.
Notably, mentioned photos feature similar inaccuracies characteristic to other AI-generated photos, such as distorted or fused body parts (in most cases, fingers).
On May 9, The Pumpkin Empress posted another post saying that she had been contacted by several media outlets about the photos. In the same post, the author described how they created one of the photos with the help of the program Midjourney.
It is worth noting that it is possible to create a realistic photo of any person using Midjourney, although the tool has some flaws when creating photos. For example, generating hands is quite difficult, and Forbes writes that one of the easiest ways to determine whether a photograph is generated by artificial intelligence is to look at the hands.
This is not the first case when AI-generated photos have been presented as real-life footage. For more information, see the “Myth Detector” articles:
- AI-Generated Photo of Joe Biden Disseminated on Social Media
- AI-Generated Images of Donald Trump Disseminated on Facebook
- An Orthodox Church Abroad or a Photo Generated by AI?
About the Source
Facebook users who have published AI-generated photos usually amplify fake news of anti-Western content. The false information spread by Sidonia Bello, Maia Dvalidze and Shiin Evropkisken has been debunked by “Myth Detector” a number of times.
As for the Russian-language Facebook account Вячик Гус, it often spreads misinformation and conspiracy theories of anti-Western content.
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