A set of photographs showing the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J Trump, being taken away by the police has gone viral.
Trump, on Saturday, 18 March, said that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday over a case of hush money that he allegedly paid to an adult film actress before the 2016 elections.
The claim: Those sharing the images have claimed that the police arrested the former president.
"Donald Trump has been arrested downtown Washington DC," said one of the posts.
(Archives of more such posts can be found here and here.)
The truth: The claim is false as the images have been created using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool called Midjourney. The photos were first shared by Eliot Higgins, founder and creative director of the investigative collective Bellingcat.
How did we find that out:
We conducted a keyword search for news reports on Trump's arrest but could not find any credible report to support the claim.
We then conducted a reverse image search of the viral images and found that the photos were shared by a British journalist and director of Bellingcat Productions, Elliot Higgins.
The tweet's caption said, "Making pictures of Trump getting arrested while waiting for Trump's arrest", and it was posted on 21 March.
We went through the tweet's comments section, and when asked what engine they used, Higgins said Midjourney V5.
We went through Higgins' timeline and found more images created using Midjourney.
What is Midjourney:
Midjourney is a tool that uses generative AI to create images from text prompts fed by users.
We checked on Midjourney and found more images showing Trump getting arrested, which other users created.
Conclusion: AI-generated images showing Donald Trump's arrest in the US have gone viral as real.
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