Journalist Eliot Higgins, founder of open-source investigative journalism site Bellingcat, recently shared fabricated photos depicting former President Trump being arrested by police officers. Using the latest version of the Midjourney AI engine, Higgins generated these realistic-looking images, which quickly gained traction on social media.

The viral images have raised concerns about the spread of deepfakes and misinformation online, as AI image generators improve and become more accessible. The fake arrest photos were created in light of a possible indictment of the former president, further fueling the debate around the role of AI-generated content in shaping public opinion.

  • After the images went viral, Higgins claimed he was banned from the Midjourney service, though the company has yet to confirm the ban.
  • Tests done online indicate that Midjourney has now barred users from using text prompts with the words "arrest" and "Donald Trump." It seems the platform is taking steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Zoom Out: Higgins's experiment highlights the growing power of AI-generated content and its potential impact on the trustworthiness of digital media. In a world where seeing may no longer be believing, society faces new challenges in distinguishing fact from fiction and maintaining trust in an ever-evolving digital landscape. The incident with Higgins's images serves as a stark reminder of the need to develop tools and strategies for detecting and mitigating the effects of deepfakes and online misinformation.

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