Fact-Check: AI-Generated Image Misleadingly Shared as Real Amid Gaza’s Rainy Situation

Last year, in 2023, on October 7th, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel named ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.’ This attack triggered an ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. On January 26th, due to heavy rainfall, numerous shelters in Gaza were overwhelmed by water. Amid these events, a photo emerged on social media showing two children asleep in muddy water.

Many people have argued that this photo is not a creation of an artist but rather a genuine representation from a different location during harsh cold weather.

AI-Generated

See related X posts here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive).

See related TikTok posts here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), here (archive).

See related Facebook post here (archive).

See related YouTube post here (archive).

Fact Check

The investigation conducted by the Rumor Scanner team revealed that the widely shared photo purported to depict two children sleeping in muddy water in Gaza is not authentic. Instead, it has been generated using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

At the beginning of the investigation, the photo in question was subjected to reverse image searches on platforms such as Instagram, X, and other social media sites (1,2,3), where it was found to be in circulation. A notable detail observed in these shared images was the presence of a TikTok username (@ufxyucxuucyd) in the corner on the right side.

Image analysis: Rumor Scanner

Further investigation revealed that there is no TikTok account currently associated with this username.

Upon closer examination of the photo, certain irregularities were identified, including anomalies in the fingers, hands, feet, and distinctive features in the noses and ears. These irregularities are commonly associated with images created using AI tools.

Image analysis: Rumor Scanner

The authenticity of the photo was then verified through two AI detection websites, ‘AI or Not‘ and ‘Hive Moderation,’ both of which confirmed that the image was generated with the help of AI.

Screenshot: AI or Not & Hive Moderation.

Additionally, information was sought from the Palestinian fact-checking organization Kashif. The co-founder of Kashif, Riham Abu Aita, stated, ‘It is undoubtedly created with AI. I don’t understand why people are sharing such AI-generated images.’

Furthermore, we had previously verified a different AI-generated image purporting to show two children sleeping in the rain in Gaza.

The German news outlet Deutsche Welle also verified three photos, including the one under scrutiny, and confirmed their AI origin.

Bottom Line

During the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas since October 7th, 2023, and following the flooding of shelters in Gaza due to heavy rainfall on January 26th, a photo was shared across social media depicting two children sleeping in muddy water. The investigation by the Rumor Scanner team has concluded that the photo is not genuine but was instead generated using Artificial Intelligence (AI). This conclusion was corroborated by Riham Abu Aita, co-founder of Kashif, and reported by Deutsche Welle.

So, the circulating AI-generated image, misrepresented as a real photo of two children sleeping in front of a tent in Gaza amid rainy conditions, is misleading.

Sources

RS Team
RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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