Fake Photos of Biden in Combat Gear Spread Online Amid Drone Strike Crisis

A series of fake photos showing President Joe Biden wearing a military combat uniform in the Situation Room have been circulating online, sparking controversy and confusion amid the escalating tensions in the Middle East. The photos, which were created using artificial intelligence (AI), appear to depict Biden as the commander-in-chief planning a military response to the deadly drone attack on US soldiers in Jordan.

The photos were first posted on X, a social media platform owned by Elon Musk, on Monday by a user named @luke_brocks. The user claimed that the photos were leaked from the White House and showed Biden meeting with the military high command in full uniform. The photos quickly went viral, attracting thousands of views and comments. Some users praised Biden for his leadership and courage, while others criticized him for being a warmonger and a puppet of the military-industrial complex.

Fake Photos of Biden in Combat Gear Spread Online Amid Drone Strike Crisis
Fake Photos of Biden in Combat Gear Spread Online Amid Drone Strike Crisis

The photos are fake and have several flaws

However, the photos are not real and have several flaws that reveal their AI-generated nature. For example, in one of the photos, Biden has six fingers on his left hand, while in another, the text on his uniform is blurry and unreadable. In a third photo, the phone cord on the table merges with Biden’s arm, and an unidentified object is visible on the table.

Several fact-checking websites, such as Snopes, Lead Stories, and BOOM, have confirmed that the photos are fake and have been created using generative AI. They have also used AI-detection software, such as Hive, to show that the photos have a 100% likelihood of being AI-generated. The original poster of the photos, @luke_brocks, has also admitted on X that he used AI to create the photos and that he did it as a joke.

The photos come amid rising tensions in the Middle East

The fake photos come at a time when the US is facing a crisis in the Middle East, following the drone strike that killed three US service members in northeast Jordan on Sunday. The strike, which was blamed on groups affiliated with Iran, has prompted Biden to vow that the US “shall respond” and to consider various options, including diplomatic, economic, and military measures. The president has also faced criticism from Republicans for his perceived weakness and lack of deterrence against Iran and its proxies in the region. Iran has denied any involvement in the strike.

The photos also come after X was embroiled in another controversy last week, when it allowed AI-generated explicit images of singer Taylor Swift to remain on the site for 17 hours. The images, which were viewed 47 million times, were eventually removed and the account that posted them was suspended. X also banned users from searching for Swift over the weekend, before lifting the ban on Monday night. Since Musk acquired Twitter in 2022, he has faced backlash for his own controversial posts, which have led many advertisers to withdraw their spending from the platform, fearing association with harmful content.

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