Highly realistic AI-generated images of an explosion near the Pentagon that went viral on Twitter sent the stock market plummeting. soak briefly earlier today.

Tweets of this image purporting to depict an explosion near the Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia were amplified by numerous verified Twitter accounts, including Russian state media and a verified account impersonate the Bloomberg news agency.

Even though the viral image looked real at first glance, it’s full of clues that it was generated using artificial intelligence, proving the whole thing to be a hoax.

While Twitter has now suspended the fake Bloomberg accountthis highlights the dangers of its payment system to verify, allowing any account to be verified by paying a blue check, which for many implies that it is trustworthy.

The Arlington Fire and Medical Services Department also confirmed the image was fake in a tweet retweeted by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (which no longer has a blue check mark even though it is an agency). Defense Department of the United States Department of Defense).

“There are NO explosions or incidents that have occurred in or near the Pentagon stockpile, and there is no immediate danger or danger to the public,” Arlington Fire & EMS said.

A DOD spokesperson also called the AI-generated image “misinformation” in a statement made to Forbes.

Tweet from Arlington FD

The Twitter account that originally shared the image deleted the tweet hours after the photo was tagged as fake on the platform by US government agencies and OSINT experts.

This follows a similar incident in November after Twitter Blue added the ability to pay a blue check when a verified account posing as pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly tweeted that insulin “is free now.

Even though Twitter deleted the account, the tweet went viral, amassing thousands of retweets and sending Eli Lilly’s stock plummeting by around $22 billion in 24 hours.

Twitter suspended paid verification of Twitter Blue in response to the incident and many other similar pranks and pranks, as a Twitter sales employee says NBC at the time.

The Twitter Blue premium subscription service is available worldwide since March 23, 2023, and it allows anyone to verify their account by paying $8/month to get a blue check and a few extra features, including fewer ads, priority ranking in conversations and search, and access editing tweets.


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