FACT CHECK: Image Of Israeli Soldiers Celebrating Hanukkah Appears To Be AI-Generated
A viral image shared on X, formerly Twitter, purports to show Israeli soldiers recently celebrating Hanukkah in Gaza.
غزة بقت صهيونية قوي صهيونية خالص و دي شمعدان الحانوكا على أنفاق الشجاعية الي طرطرنا عليها شوية مية مالحة كده من البحر وتحت منها جنود صهاينة ونجمة داوُد زي ما حدراتكو عارفين هاااا ايه تاني ياض منك لوه pic.twitter.com/siNBLTq6Fo
— إيدي كوهين אדי כהן 🇮🇱 (@EdyCohen) December 9, 2023
The image appears to have been generated using artificial intelligence (AI). A scan using the website Fake Image Detector indicates the image looks “computer generated or modified.” A media forensics and AI expert confirmed the image is AI-generated in an email to Check Your Fact.
Ten Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were killed Tuesday, with nine dying in a battle in Shejaiya, according to the Times of Israel. Two senior commanders are included in the ten deaths, the outlet reported.
The X image, viewed over 100,000 times, purports to show Israeli soldiers recently celebrating Hanukkah in Gaza. “Gaza has become a strong Zionism, a pure Zionism, and this is the Hanukkah menorah on the Shuja’iya tunnels, which we threw a little salty water on from the sea, and underneath it there are Zionist soldiers and the Star of David, as you know, what else is this,” the image’s caption reads.
The claim is false, however. Check Your Fact performed a scan of the image using the website Fake Image Detector, and the results indicate the image looks “computer generated or modified.” Check Your Fact also performed scans of the image using the websites Hive Moderation and AI or Not, both of which indicated the image was not generated using AI.
It is important to note that AI image detectors do not always produce accurate results. According to Insider, adding grain to an image can fool AI detectors and reduce the likelihood of identifying the content as AI-generated from 99% to 3.3%.
Misbar also performed a scan of the image using Fake Image Detector and determined the image included “technical inconsistencies” that suggest it was generated using AI. Among these inconsistencies are distortions and structural errors, the outlet indicated. (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Journalist Standing Next To Hamas Launching Rockets)
Likewise, Check Your Fact did not find the viral X image featured in any recent credible news reports about the current Israel-Hamas conflict.
Dr. Walter Scheirer, a media forensics and AI expert at the University of Notre Dame, confirmed the image is AI-generated in an email to Check Your Fact.
“This image is the product of a generative AI tool. It is representative of a genre of synthetic images that are akin to newspaper political cartoons. The most obvious evidence for this is the poor rendering of the soldiers. For instance, the soldier on the left is badly disfigured, and appears to be missing a properly formed head,” Scheirer said.