FACT CHECK: No, Hobby Lobby Is Not Selling Satanic Statues

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby is purportedly selling satanic statues.

Verdict: False

A scan using Hive Moderation reveals the images have been created using artificial intelligence (AI).

Fact Check:

Hobby Lobby is a family-run business dedicated to Christian principles that was started in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, according to the Seattle Times. The arts and crafts retailer was the subject of a 2014 Supreme Court case after it challenged an employee contraceptive coverage requirement made by the Affordable Care Act, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook post claims Hobby Lobby is purportedly selling satanic statues. “So Hobby Lobby refuses to allow their employees to have access to birth control bc of their Christian values… But this ‘demonic’ display is featured?” the post’s caption reads in part.

The claim is false. A scan using Hive Moderation reveals the images have been created using AI. The results of the scan reveal the image is likely 99% AI-generated, with the software Midjourney being the most probable source of creation.

Screenshot captured via Hive Moderation

The images of the satanic statues can be traced back to a Jun. 5 post made in the Facebook group AI Art Universe. The group describes itself as being “dedicated to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for those interested in the intersection of AI, design and art” via its “About” section.

The Jun. 5 post was also referenced in a recent Vice article about the AI-generated images and the subsequent panic that ensued when social media users mistook them as real and called for a boycott of the arts and crafts retailer.

The images generated so much social media buzz that iterations of the claim also spread on TikTok and Reddit. (RELATED: Do These Images Show A Satanic-Themed Hotel Opening Soon In Plano, Texas?)

Despite the online controversy generated by the images, Hobby Lobby did not publicly respond to the claim that it was selling satanic statues via statements shared on its website or social media accounts. Likewise, there are no credible news reports supporting the claim. In addition to the Vice article, multiple news reports shared exactly the opposite of the claim and called out the images as being AI-generated.

Check Your Fact has contacted Hobby Lobby for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter