An apparently AI-generated hoax of an explosion at the Pentagon went viral online — and markets briefly dipped
An apparently AI-generated photo faking an explosion near the Pentagon in D.C. went viral.
The Arlington Police Department confirmed that the image and accompanying reports were fake.
But when the news was shared by a reputable Twitter account on Monday, the market briefly dipped.
A fake image of an explosion near the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., may have been created by artificial-intelligence tools.
But that didn't stop it from being spread by dozens of accounts on social media — and the stock market briefly dipped as the fake news spread.
An image appearing to show a massive cloud of smoke near a building and claims that there had been an explosion near the Pentagon started circulating on Twitter early Monday.
But the image and associated claims were fake, the Arlington Police Department said.
"There is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon reservation, and there is no immediate danger or hazards to the public," the Arlington PD tweeted Monday.
—Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) May 22, 2023
While it hasn't been confirmed whether the image was made using AI tools, it does feature some of the hallmarks of AI-generated images. The columns on the supposed building in the hoax photo vary in size, for example, and the fence appears to blend into the sidewalk in some places.
The photo was spread by dozens of accounts on social media, including RT, a Russian state-media Twitter account with more than 3 million followers — but the post has since been deleted. Most other accounts that retweeted the image appear to be affiliated with conspiracies or the war in Ukraine.
Information about the purported explosion was shared by the Twitter account @DeItaone at 10:06 a.m. ET. By 10:10, the market had fallen 0.26% but quickly bounced back.
DeItaone later posted that news of the explosion was fake.
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