Fake AI Image of Pentagon Explosion Goes Viral on Twitter, Sends US Markets Down

A fake image of an explosion near the Pentagon in Washington DC, which may have been created using AI technology, caused the market to briefly sell off.

The image claimed to show a large cloud of smoke near the Defense Ministry headquarters on Monday, and was shared by a series of online accounts on Twitter.

But the image and claims of an explosion were quickly dismissed as false by the Arlington Fire Department.

“There are NO explosions or incidents occurring in or near the Pentagon stockpile, and there is no immediate danger or danger to the public,” the department said on Twitter.

The picture, which Initiated said has some characteristics of AI-generated images, was shared by Russian state media RT’s Twitter account, among others.

The fake explosion was shared by the @Deltaone Twitter account at 10:06 a.m. ET, and as of 10:10 a.m. ET, the US stock market had fallen 0/26% before rebounding, Initiated reported. The account later posted that the image of the explosion was fake.

It was also shared by a fake but verified Twitter account claiming to represent a major news organization.

Some Twitter users pointed out that distorted sections of the fence showed it had been manipulated by the AI.

Who created the fake isn’t immediately clear, but compelling “deep fakes” such as the Pope wearing a Balenciaga coat have gone viral recently.

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