Fake image of Pentagon explosion goes viral, briefly sends jitters through stock market

“We can confirm this was a false report and the Pentagon was not attacked today,” a spokesman for the Pentagon said.

The Arlington, Virginia fire department also reacted, posting on social media that there was no explosion or incident taking place at or near the Pentagon.

The incident followed other occurrences of fake imagery that also created buzz recently on the internet, including former US president Donald Trump getting arrested and Pope Francis in a puffer jacket.

Posts with this claim shared an image purportedly depicting a cloud of smoke near a white-fenced building. The content, however, appears to be AI-generated.

Nick Waters, justice and accountability lead for online investigations group Bellingcat, described the image as “clearly AI-generated” on Twitter and pointed to visual anomalies such as the frontage of the building and the appearance of the fence.


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