Donald Trump: Supporters spread AI fake images with black voters

The US election in the fall could be a close race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. The black population of the USA could play an important role in this. Trump supporters are now targeting this group of voters – with the help of fake images.

The otherwise extremely conservative Republican Donald Trump, grinning arm in arm with young black women – plus short anecdotes that portray him as close to the people and compassionate: All kinds of pictures of the ex-president are currently being shared on social networks, who apparently has a heart for one of them He has found a group of voters who has previously paid little attention to him: African-Americans. But the images are nothing more than fake news; they are generated using artificial intelligence (AI). Trump has never met the people in the picture – let alone do they even exist.

AI images of Donald Trump with black supporters are spreading on social media

The campaign does not come from the official Trump camp, but from independent fans of the ex-president. The BBC first reported on it. The bully and latent racist Trump suddenly becomes an empathetic advocate for the black population? In the past, social media users have repeatedly circulated deepfakes of Trump or his competitor Biden – but usually in a different context. They were portrayed negatively, either as senile old men, bloodthirsty warmongers or corrupt businessmen who subjugated politics.

What's new about the AI ​​images of Trump is the positive depiction. They suggest there is great support for Trump in the Afro community. The fakes are apparently aimed at exactly this group of voters who laid the foundation for Biden's success in the last election. Even today, according to surveys, the incumbent president is more popular among the black US population than Trump – even if the difference is no longer as big, as “Spiegel” reports.

Distributor of AI images pretends to be innocent

But who is spreading the fakes that are apparently intended to bring Trump closer to the black electorate? The BBC has tracked down one of them: radio presenter Mark Kaye. He is not part of Trump's campaign, but is apparently a big fan, as the posts on his Facebook page suggest.

He was also the one who generated the AI ​​image of Trump arm in arm with black women at a party and posted it on Facebook. At first glance, the picture cannot be recognized as a fake; it is only when you take a second look that you notice that some people in the pictures have too many or too few fingers or that no real words can be read on a man's cap in the background.

Many of his one million followers apparently did not recognize the fake, as the comments show, writes the BBC. Confronted with the question of why he was sharing fake images, Kaye's reaction was remarkable: “I'm not a photojournalist, I don't take pictures of things that really happen. I'm a storyteller.” In addition, he is not claiming that it is a real photo, says Kaye. “If anyone votes for one candidate or another because of a photo on a Facebook page, the problem is with that person, not the picture,” the radio host said.

As “Spiegel” reports, 20 tech companies agreed at the Munich Security Conference in February to pay particular attention to AI-generated content and not to allow it to become a disinformation weapon, especially in election campaigns. However, the images mentioned here can still be found on X.

Sources: BBC, Der Spiegel, Facebook profile Mark Kaye