Pope Francis wears AI-generated LGBTQ+ flag

Occurred: April 2023

Photographs of Pope Francis cloaked in the pride flag used to show support for LGBTQ+ people has been found to have been generated by artificial intelligence. 

The photos, which circulated on Twitter and Facebook, came amidst a spike in anti-LGBTQ disinformation on social media coinciding with the celebration of pride month in June 2023. The images appear to designed to build support for the LGBTQ+ movement.

The first versions of the images discovered by AFP emanated from a Twitter account named 'Gay Forest' and had been shared on Facebook under the same name in April 2023. 

In February 2023, photographs of Pope Francis wearing the Latin American Youth Ministry cross were found to have been misrepresented online, with some users incorrectly linking the colours to the pride flag. 

System 🤖

Operator: XCorp/Twitter; Meta/Facebook
Country: Argentina; Italy
Sector: Religion
Purpose: Build support
Technology: Text-to-image; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: August 2023