Fact Check: Photo of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange in Prison is AI-Generated

Written by on April 15, 2023

An artificial intelligence (AI) tool generated a Photo purporting to show Wikileaks founder Julian Assange looking physically unwell in Belmarsh prison.

The AI image, which has been shared widely on social media shows a close up of Assange wearing a white cloth, eyes closed, long hair and red patches on his face.

 “Absolutely horrifying image of Julian #Assange. He is still on remand in high security Belmarsh Prison. He is a journalist and the world’s foremost freedom of speech campaigner, whose extradition is sought to the USA for exposing war crimes and corruption,” said Khalisee.

The Russian Embassy in Kenya also shared the image on their official Twitter handle alleging that Assange is in prison for released a video showing US Forces firing at Iraqi civilians.

The image which was first posted by a Twitter user using the account name @TheErrantFriend has been established to have been created using Midjourney v5 AI image generator.

The online tool allows users to generate images by entering simple text prompts, and the latest iteration can produce convincing images that look like real photos.

Assange has been under custody since 2019 over charges of publication of classified US government documents.

This fact check was produced by Sky 106.1 FM

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