Photos of farmers in France staging protests in Paris have gone viral recently. But one of the photos being shared that appears to show tractors and large hay bales set up near the Eiffel Tower isn’t from the protests. In fact, it was created using AI.
“French Farmers at the Eiffel Tower…WOW!” a popular tweet from an account dubbed Gen. Reality reads.
But the image shared in that tweet was created using artificial intelligence software. It was shared on Instagram by an account called The Trillionaire Life last week. That account credits the image to an account called ifonly.ai, which shares AI-generated imagery.
The infonly.ai account appears to be based in Paris and credits Midjourney as the tool used to create its fake images. The account even has a disclaimer that in an effort to prevent any “fake news” anyone resharing images from the account should “please specify” they were made using artificial intelligence tools.
Farmers in France really are protesting the government’s proposals for changes to the agriculture sector in the country. The farmers are upset over everything from loan repayment plans to the significantly higher rate of suicide among French farmers compared to the general population. Grain prices have also fallen in the country, one of many other problems facing farmers, according to France’s 24 network.
Many of the farmers have blockaded traffic in France to protest the government’s proposals and images of protesting farmers in Europe have been popular on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The photo below was captured on February 2 and shows one of the blockade protests being staged near Lyon, France.
But the rise of AI creation tools over the past two years have contributed to a flood of fake images on various websites. And people don’t necessarily have their guard up when browsing sites like X or Facebook to treat every image with skepticism.
Yes, the farmer protests are real. But this particular image of the Eiffel Tower is fake.