FACT CHECK: Viral Image Purporting To Show Man Carrying Children Through Rubble In Palestine Is AI-Generated
A viral image shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show a man carrying children through rubble in Palestine.
“A picture is worth a thousand words” pic.twitter.com/LPUYFZPR5L
— Palestine Culture (@PalestineCultu1) October 26, 2023
A content detection scan using Hive Moderation reveals the image was created using artificial intelligence (AI). In addition, a media forensics expert denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
Israel has rejected allies’ calls to pause its mission in Gaza amid an ongoing conflict with Hamas, according to Reuters. The country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lior Haiat, said Israel is currently opposed to a ceasefire, the outlet reported.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” the image’s caption purports. The image, which has garnered over 900 likes, purports to show a man carrying children through rubble in Palestine.
The image is not authentic, however. A content detection scan using Hive Moderation reveals the image was created using AI. According to the scan, the image was most likely made with the AI program Midjourney.
Check Your Fact also reviewed the image and noticed the hand belonging to one of the children clinging to the man’s back appears to be deformed. Likewise, the baby cradled in the man’s arms appears to only have three toes on his or her visible foot.
Deformed or missing limbs, particularly hands, are one of the hallmarks of AI-generated images, according to BuzzFeed News.
Furthermore, the purported photo of the man carrying the children through the rubble in Palestine does not appear in any credible news reports about the current Israel-Hamas conflict. (RELATED: No, Video Does Not Show Iron Dome Intercepting Rockets Fired From Gaza)
Dr. Walter Scheirer, a media forensics expert from the University of Notre Dame, denied the image’s authenticity in an email to Check Your Fact.
“This image is characteristic of the 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 distorted and tangled in unnatural ways. Also, there is a very tiny man leaning against the rubble in the back,” Scheirer said.