FACT CHECK: Image Purporting To Show Rand Paul In Bathrobe Is AI-Generated
An image shared on Facebook purports to show Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul sitting on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in a red bathrobe.
A content detection scan using the website “Hive Moderation” reveals that the image has been created using artificial intelligence (AI). A media forensics and AI expert also denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has put forth a resolution that would bring back business attire for senators following recent changes to the Senate dress code, according to Forbes. The resolution has bipartisan support, the outlet indicated.
“Senator Rand Paul showed up in a red bathrobe, due to the dress code being changed to accommodate Fetterman,” the image’s caption reads. In the photo, Paul appears to be sitting on the steps of the U.S. Capitol barefoot and wearing a red bathrobe. The image has received over 500 likes as of writing.
The image is not authentic, however. A content detection scan using the website “Hive Moderation” reveals that the image has been created using AI. The results of the scan indicate that Midjourney was most likely the program used to create the image.
Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find any credible news reports about Paul or the recent changes to the Senate dress code that reference the image. In addition, the Republican Kentucky Senator has not commented on the image via his website.
Dr. Walter Scheirer, a media forensics and AI expert at the University of Notre Dame, denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
“This image contains artifacts that are characteristic of AI-generated imagery. Specifically, the marble stairs behind the subject are unnaturally warped and mismatched when comparing the side to the left of the subject to the right side,” Scheirer said.
Paul seemingly acknowledged the satirical nature of the image on Twitter, writing, “I thought I was clear when I said no photographs.”
Senate Majority Leader and New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer announced on Sept. 18 that the Senate would no longer enforce a dress code, according to The Associated Press. The move soon drew criticism from Republicans, Axios reported. (RELATED: No, This Photo Does Not Show Cory Booker Wearing Pink Shorts)
Check Your Fact has also contacted Paul’s office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.