FACTCHECK MUCH? ‘News’ Outlets Ran With Fake Photo Of Pope In Puffy Jacket

  • When a photo surfaced this weekend, just before the fifth Sunday of Lent, of Pope Francis in a long, white, trendy-looking puffer coat with his traditional pectoral cross and white zucchetto cap, it’s not hard to imagine what happened next: People went wild. “OKAAYYY,” wrote one Twitter user who shared the image. “Ayo. Blessed be,” wrote another.
  • This particular puffer — gargantuan and gleaming, with a cinched waist and imposing oversize hood — landed in that slim Venn diagram sweet spot between “what the pope might actually, practically wear to keep warm on a cold day” and “what the wealthiest 26-year-olds are currently wearing around SoHo.”
  • The image was completely fake. According to the fact-checking website Snopes, the image was created using the generative AI program Midjourney and later appeared on the subreddit r/Midjourney.
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