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Fact Check

Image of Helpless Farmer Surrounded by Police Is AI-Generated

BOOM found that the image has been created using generative-AI and is not real.

By - Hazel Gandhi | 22 Feb 2024 10:38 AM GMT

An image purporting to show a helpless farmer surrounded by policemen at the ongoing Delhi Chalo protest is viral online.

BOOM found that the image is AI-generated and is not from the farmers' protest.

Farmers from several Indian states including Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh are marching to the capital to demand a law guaranteeing the Minimum Support Price (MSP), among other demands related to debt waivers and justice in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. Amid reports of pellet guns, water cannons, and tear gas being used to stop protesting farmers, the death of a 21-year-old farmer, Shubhkaran Singh, has further ignited the matter. Singh, who hails from Baloke, Punjab and was a part of the demonstration, died near the Khanauri border that separates Punjab and Haryana. The police in Haryana has denied the death, despite confirmations from both the Punjab health minister and a hospital official.

Amid this, an image of a farmer, purportedly sitting on the ground at one of the protest sites while being surrounded by several policemen is viral online. A caption on X reads, "You will have degrees for the rest of your life. (But) If you can't read the moist eyes of farmers then you are illiterate...!"

(Original text in Hindi: "होंगी तुम्हारे पास, जमाने भर की डिग्रियां पर.... अन्न दाताओं की नम आँखों को ना पढ़ सको तो अनपढ़ हो तुम....!)




Click here to view the post and here for an archive.

The image is viral with similar captions on Facebook.




Click here to view the post.



FACT CHECK


BOOM found that the image has been made using generative-AI and is not from the ongoing farmers' agitation.

We noticed that the road the farmer was sitting on was unusually smooth, and were also not able to distinguish what the white portion on the left side of his forehead was. This led us to believe that the image be AI-generated.

We then ran the image through two AI image detection tools, Hive Moderation and AI or Not, both of which estimated that the image was made using AI. While Hive Moderation gave the image a rating of 100%, AI or Not said the image was 'likely AI'