Social media has recently been inundated with dozens of fake AI-generated images that purport to show Target selling “Satanic” clothing for children.
The computer-generated images show kids wearing clothes with inverted pentagrams and goat heads and a store display with a red, goat-headed mannequin.
According to a fact-check by Reuters, the images were created by Facebook user Dan Reese with the AI program Midjourney.
A Target spokesperson told the news publication that it “has never sold” the pictured items, and the items aren’t available on the store’s website.
Facebook page “Christian Patriots” shared the images alongside a caption that read: “Look at the faces on these children, I feel in my spirit, they even knew there was something satanic with making them be photographed with these clothes on. If you are a Christian and a parent and you shop at target, Lord, have mercy on you.”
Several Target locations across the country experienced evacuations last week due to bomb threats as controversy continues to grow over the company’s LGBTQ+ merchandise.
The retailer announced that it would remove certain items from its stores and make other changes to its LGBTQ+ merchandise selection and store displays across the nation in response to backlash from some customers, which has included violent encounters with Target employees.
Target released a statement stating, “Since the introduction of this year’s collection, our team members have experienced threats that have affected their sense of safety while at work. In light of these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, which include removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
The fake AI imagery has only added to the ongoing controversy and conservative outrage, with many unsuspecting social media users believing the images to be real.
Amid the criticism, social media users claimed that Target sold a “tuck-friendly” swimsuit for children as part of the collection, but the item was made for adults only, as explained in previous a Reuters fact check.