Titan debris field photos are AI generated
Titan, a deep-sea submersible, imploded last month while on a voyage in the North Atlantic Ocean to view the 113-year-old wreckage of the Titanic. All five people aboard the Titan were killed. Those in the submersible included pilot Stockton Rush, oceanographer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman.
The day officials announced they had found the Titan wreckage at the bottom of the ocean, photos purportedly showing the debris field appeared on social media.
"BREAKING: First look -- Imploded Titan titanic submarine implosion debris field," read a June 22 tweet that included the images.
But the photos aren't real, Reuters reported. The post contained AI-generated images and an old photo.
No photos from the site have been made public.
"We have also not released any images of the debris, and again anything that has been circulating is unconfirmed," a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson told Reuters.
One false post shared online contains three digitally created images, that supposedly show pieces of the submersible at the bottom of the ocean. A fourth photo, showing a pair of shoes lying on the ocean floor, is actually from the Titanic debris field and was not taken recently.
On Wednesday, the wreckage of Titan was recovered from the bottom of the ocean and brought to Canada where officials will investigate what caused the submersible to implode.
Pride flag doesn't honor pedophiles
A variation of the traditional rainbow Pride flag, known as the progress Pride flag, includes stripes with five additional colors -- white, pink, light blue, brown and black -- set diagonally against the flag's horizontal stripes.
In a video recently posted on social media, a man standing in front of a Progress Pride flag claims the blue, pink and white stripes were added to the design to represent pedophiles, the Associated Press reported.
That claim couldn't be any more false. Those colors represent the transgender community.
The transgender Pride flag was created in 1999 by Monica Helms. The light blue stripe represents a traditional boy color, the pink stripe is the traditional girl color, and the white stripe represents those who are intersex, are transitioning or have an undefined gender. In 2018, designer Quasar incorporated those colors into the Pride flag to create the progress Pride flag. The black and brown stripes were added to represent communities of color.
"All those people are underneath this umbrella that is the trans flag," Quasar told the AP. "And my use of it in the Progress Pride flag is meant to represent the trans community who, even more so now, five years after its initial creation, desperately need our help and assistance to just be allowed to exist."
Dinean Robinson, senior director of communications and marketing at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York, told the AP misinformation about the Pride flag isn't new.
"All versions of the Pride flag celebrate the LGBTQ community and some seek to honor intersectionality," she said. "Every year anti-LGBTQ groups, including some right-wing media outlets, promulgate a ridiculous story about the meaning of the Pride flag."
Secret Service for Trump
An online video shows former President Donald Trump arriving at a Columbus, Georgia, Waffle House restaurant after a speech at the Georgia Republican Convention, PolitiFact reports.
"Donald Trump has armed military escorting him!" a Facebook user wrote about the clip. "Ya know who gets that kind of protection? The President of the United States!"
But this claim is wrong on a couple counts, Trump is not president, and having an escort doesn't change that.
As a former president, Trump is entitled to lifetime protection by the Secret Service. But that's not military protection, as the Secret Service isn't part of the military. It is a federal law enforcement agency that is under the Department of Homeland Security.
A Columbus Police Department spokesperson told PolitiFact the agency had provided a police motorcade for Trump's trip to the Waffle House, but they couldn't identify the military person in the video.
Hobby Lobby not selling satanic statues
A recent social media post includes a photo showing satanic statues on the shelves of a Hobby Lobby store.
"What's going on in the Hobby Lobby?" reads the text over various images of large, black-horned creatures sitting on the shelves along with other merchandise.
But the photos aren't real, according to USA Today. These statues are not for sale on the Hobby Lobby website.
Digital artist Jennifer Vineyard told USA Today that she created the images using AI-generating programs before posting the photos on social media. Vineyard also added a comment to one post displaying the photos, asking for a credit as the artist who created the images.
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.