The AI-generated image of an explosion at Pentagon that appeared on several verified Twitter accounts has once again put Twitter’s paid verification programme in question that allows anyone to pay $8 a month and get the verified Blue tick.
Several media outlets and millions of Twitter users took the fake verified Twitter account ‘Bloomberg Feed’ for a real Bloomberg-affiliated account, as it had a blue check.
Twitter suspended that account later but the damage was already done.
The fake tweet spooked some investors. The S&P 500 dropped sharply in the minutes after the image was amplified by well-followed accounts. It later recovered those losses, reports NBC News.
The image depicted a large plume of smoke next to a rectangular building with only a passing resemblance to the Pentagon.
Russian state-controlled news network RT also shared the image, according to screenshots that users captured before the tweet was deleted.
Several Twitter accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers, like Deltaone, OSINTdefender and Whale Chart shared it, reports TechCrunch.
The incident also raised the question of how generative AI could be used to trick users at a mass level.
The Arlington, Virginia, fire department tweeted that “there is NO explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon.”
After the fake Pentagon image went viral, a copycat hoaxer also pushed a similar image of the White House on fire.