An image showing Pope Francis wearing a white-colored puffer coat with a cross around his neck was generated using an artificial intelligence-based system, but sowed some confusion online.
The image has been widely shared on Twitter (here) (archive.is/JlIqq) and Facebook (here), (here).
Most comments and replies admired the outfit and some questioned the image’s authenticity, with comments reading, in part, “Is this legit?” and “I can’t tell if this is real.”
The image can be traced to a Facebook post shared by “Guerrero Art” on the group “Midjourney Official” (here) along with several other similar images.
Midjourney is an AI program that generates imagery based on text descriptions users can input to its system (www.midjourney.com/).
The user, who identifies as a digital creator on their Facebook profile, wrote that the photos were created using a text prompt, “Catholic Pope Francis wearing Balenciaga puffy jacket in drill rap music video, throwing up gang signs with hands, taken using a Canon EOS R camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, f/2.2 aperture, shutter speed 1/200s, ISO 100 and natural light, Full Body, Hyper Realistic Photography, Cinematic, Cinema, Hyperdetail, UHD, Color Correction, hdr, color grading, hyper realistic CG animation --ar 4:5 --upbeta --q 2 --v 5.”
The Facebook user did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. They identify themselves as “Original creator” in that same Facebook post. BuzzFeed News reportedly interviewed the creator of the photo, who said it was made using Midjourney (here).
Midjourney did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comments.
Missing context. Image was generated using AI, not an authentic photo of the Pope.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).
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