FACT CHECK: Viral X Image Falsely Claims Atletico Madrid Fans Supported Palestine
A viral image shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports Atletico Madrid fans showed their support for Palestine during a recent game.
Atletico Madrid fans support Palestine pic.twitter.com/bS5o3i3SDK
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 19, 2023
A Hive Moderation content detection scan shows the image has been generated using artificial intelligence (AI). A media forensics expert also denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
U.S. intelligence officials believe a Palestinian rocket that “broke up mid-flight” is responsible for causing an explosion at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17, according to Reuters. Israel labeled the Palestinian militant Islamic Jihad group as the perpetrator of the attack, but they denied responsibility, the outlet reported.
“Atletico Madrid fans support Palestine,” the image’s caption purports. In the image, a large Palestinian flag is unfurled over a sea of fans inside the stadium. The image has been viewed nearly two million times as of writing.
The image is not authentic, however. A Hive Moderation content detection scan shows the image has been generated using AI. The results of the scan reveal Bing Image Creator is most likely the program that was used to generate the image. According to its website, Bing Image Creator allows users to “generate AI images using DALL-E right from the sidebar in Microsoft Edge.”
Likewise, a close-up shot of the fans inside the stadium shows bodily distortions, another indication that the image is not authentic. A hallmark of AI-generated images is hands that appear deformed, according to Buzzfeed News. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Palestinians Evading Israeli Forces By Waving Indian Flags)
In addition, Check Your Fact did not find any credible news reports suggesting Atletico Madrid fans showed their support for Palestine during a recent game. The claim is neither repeated via the team’s official website nor its social media accounts.
Dr. Walter Scheirer, a media forensics expert at the University of Notre Dame, denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
“This image is characteristic of the exaggerated cartoon style that is a common output of generative AI models. The image is not photorealistic, it more resembles an illustration. The body parts of the people are exaggerated or distorted in unnatural ways. Also, the markers on the field are misaligned and obviously not legal for a major soccer match,” Scheirer said.
Check Your Fact has also contacted an Atletico Madrid spokesperson for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.