Bad AI art is taking over Facebook.

  • AI-generated photos are overloading Facebook, and it’s sad to see real people engage.
  • Last week, researchers wrote about the pages that post this garbage. They found widespread mistreatment.
  • Forgive us, Crab Jesus.
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My pastor never told me about the types of Jesus on Facebook these days: an adult made of shrimp; Child surrounded by three armed fairies and candles (terrible parents, Joseph); A crucifix is ​​venerated by flight attendants kneeling around the pool.

These images of Jesus are the type of AI-generated images that dominate Facebook, making the social media site even more depressing.

Treat yourself to this AI-generated photo and flight attendant with weird fingers.


I’m one of the few millennials I know who uses Facebook regularly, mostly to make friends on expat groups and find a new apartment through the marketplace — the only good thing about the site. is part. While I enjoy laughing at the likes of Shrimp Jesus, I’m worried about the engagement I’m seeing on these posts and what it portends for the future of social media.

Years ago, Facebook laid the groundwork for today’s AI trash by prioritizing content from legitimate sources like news organizations in favor of posts from family and friends. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the change in 2018, writing, “We feel a responsibility to ensure that our services are not only fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. are.”

But other than a few old relatives and college acquaintances, no one I know much. Instead, my feed is a mix of group posts, ads, and weird AI images – in my case, mostly fake houses and resorts, probably because I belong to a few travel groups.

Their comments section Photos are where things get dark.

A mix of scammers eager to sell you cryptocurrency and real people commenting on these photos. The former I expect in every online forum, but the latter is a sad reflection of low media literacy—and researchers are beginning to notice.

Last week, a pair from Stanford University and Georgetown University published a paper — not yet peer-reviewed — about AI images on Facebook, after studying 120 Facebook pages as of early March. . He wrote that the AI-generated photos appeared because Facebook’s algorithm thought they would lead to more engagement — and some of his posts went viral.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that some people engaging with the content didn’t realize it was generated by AI, and that the groups behind the pages weren’t very good. The researchers wrote that some page operators engaged in “unambiguously manipulative behavior” such as stealing pages and adding fake followers to boost their status.

The “Thank Jesus For Everything” page, from which I got the visuals in this story, looks exactly like what the researchers found. The page, originally dedicated to showcasing local musicians, was hacked in January 2023, its original owner told me.

After the takeover, Page began reposting similar Boomer religious images — think prayers in Comic Sans font over bad clip art — that have long circulated on Facebook. The images come from another page called VFit Athlete, an Indiana-based gym whose owner told me that it was also hacked, and has since pivoted to AI Jesus. Together, the pages have 130,000 followers — a drop in the bucket of Meta’s 3 billion monthly active users.

The true purpose of these pages remains unclear: Beyond the obvious comments, they can increase page views for later use for other purposes, such as promoting disinformation. A cycle we’ve seen on Facebook with other pages predates creative AI.

Meta did not respond to my requests for comment, including about the hacked pages.

This is what Matthew had in mind when he wrote about Jesus calming the waves and getting into the boat of his disciples.


Facebook knows generative AI is a problem. Other media outlets have covered it before last week’s study. 404 Media wrote about it in December. Meta’s president of global affairs said in February that the company is working on generative AI labels that will launch later this year. Notably, it comes in an election year already marred by creative AI issues, both online and off.

But I don’t want to see Labeled Creative AI content in my feed — I don’t want any creative AI images. For an alternate universe, check out Metta’s own Instagram: there, I see photos and videos of my real-life loved ones, athletes, and brands I love, along with ads that are sometimes quite targeted. As I cut.

I haven’t – yet – seen Cruise Ship Jesus on Instagram, a real blessing.

Do you see strange things on your social media feeds? Email me at mmorris

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