Headline RoundupMay 30th, 2024

‘All Eyes on Rafah’: Should AI-Generated Images Be Used in Online Activism?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

An AI-generated artistic image with the words “ALL EYES ON RAFAH” was shared more than 47 million times on Instagram, prompting discourse on the role of artificial intelligence in online activism.

The Details: Those sharing the image included celebrities like Dua Lipa, Lewis Hamilton, and Gigi and Bella Hadid. Some critics of pro-Palestinian activists responded with their own AI-generated images in support of Israel.

For Context: “All Eyes on Rafah” became a pro-Palestinian slogan in recent months as the Israeli Defense Forces’ operations shifted towards the city on Gaza’s southern border, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled following fighting in the north. Earlier this week, at least 45 people were reportedly killed after an Israeli airstrike sparked a blaze at a Palestinian tent camp in Rafah, drawing renewed attention to the plight of civilians caught between Hamas and the IDF.

How the Media Covered It: Some coverage from across the spectrum highlighted criticism of the image, albeit with different attitudes about pro-Palestinian activism. The usually pro-Israeli New York Post (Lean Right bias) said the image “ultimately fails to capture the reality” of Rafah. While The Daily Caller (Right bias) appeared to frame the image’s AI origins as a revelation, Vox (Left bias) said, “it’s clear to everyone involved that it isn’t an actual depiction” of Rafah. The Daily Caller also said the AI image was “responsible” for the “All Eyes on Rafah” slogan, despite it existing beforehand. Meanwhile, a Washington Post (Lean Left bias) analysis voiced concerns about “AI propaganda” and discussed critics of “slacktivism.”

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