Ben Shapiro is once again under fire. On October 12, Shapiro shared an image of a baby burned to death and blamed Hamas for the same.
Initially, X community notes claimed that the image was AI-generated. Shapiro has since deleted the post. Later, as people began criticizing Shapiro for the allegedly fake image, the notes changed to state that AI detectors can be inaccurate and confirmed that the official X handle of the Israeli Prime Minister had posted the very same image, which was also confirmed by The Jerusalem Post.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES.
The image posted by Ben Shapiro was first shared by the Israeli Prime Minister
Conservative commentator and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro has been commenting on the Israel-Hamas conflict since it began, urging people to support Israel in their fight. On October 12, Shapiro posted an image of a burnt baby on X and tweeted:
"You wanted pictorial proof of dead Jewish babies? Here it is, you pathetic Jew-haters. Israel will minimize civilian casualties."
He further stated in the since-deleted tweet:
"But Israel will not allow the pieces of human s**t who did this to live. Every ounce of blood spilled in Gaza is on Hamas."
However, many X users were critical of the image and claimed that it was fake. Community notes alleged that the image was AI-generated, as proven by aiornot.com. A lot of users claimed that the image was actually an image from a puppy rescue, in which the puppy was then edited. Netizens were angry at Ben Shapiro for using an allegedly AI-generated image to allegedly lie about the Israel-Hamas war.
Reverse-image searching both the original image posted by Shapiro and the image of the alleged puppy rescue on Tineye reveals articles written about the allegedly charred babies in Israel and nothing about any puppy rescue. X user, @stellarman22, claimed to have made the puppy image as a meme using an AI-generated puppy.
As more and more users began testing aiornot.com, they arrived at different conclusions; for some, it said it was AI; for others, it said that it was human; and for a few users, the website failed to give a conclusive result. One user allegedly uploaded a picture of a pencil on their desk to the website, only for the image to be labeled as AI.
Ben Shapiro had posted the very same image shared by the official X handle of the Israeli Prime Minister on the very same day. The prime minister shared three images: two of burnt babies and another of a lifeless child, not burnt but covered in blood. However, the tweet, which was still on the profile, could not be embedded as X displayed a message saying that the tweet was either made private or deleted.
The Jerusalem Post also claimed that the images were real. The outlet stated that the images were shown by the Public Diplomacy Directorate to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken before being published. Antony Bilkin visited Israel on Thursday, October 12.
After a while, community notes were added to the re-post of the images, stating that AI detectors could be wrong and including a New York Times article stating the same. Previous community notes also linked the prime minister's tweet and The Jerusalem Post's confirmation.