AI Pope-in-a-Puffer-Jacker goes Viral, causing Mixed Emotions

Mar 28, 2023
Updated • Mar 28, 2023

Controversial or Cool? AI-Generated Pope Image Sporting a White Puffer Jacket Goes Viral


Have you perhaps seen a new photo of Pope Francis sporting a white puffer jacket on social media lately? If no one has told you yet, let me do the honors: it’s a fake image generated by AI. While it’s just an image, it’s gone viral on social media for some reason, with many claiming this is the first instance of global AI misinformation and the beginning of chaos.

The image was first shown on Reddit by the user who asked Midjourney to produce it. With the new Midjourney update, the AI is becoming increasingly better at creating fake images. Many people were fooled by the Pope image, believing it was real and that he was quite fashionable. Unfortunately, it’s now sparking some concerns. 

The Pope Drip
by inmidjourney

One of the comments on Twitter speaks about how this is the first example of AI spreading misinformation and how the government won’t be able to regulate it. Since the Pope Francis image went viral, many others have been trying to do the same thing with other images, such as faking news about an earthquake.

Here’s what I don’t get with this sudden hysteria about AI spreading false information. People have been using Photoshop and other apps to make deep fake images of celebrities for years, especially for fake porn nudes. This has been a global issue for a very long time, and AI isn’t the first to do it. Why are people suddenly now concerned with AI’s ability to do this when humans have been doing it anyway?

I guess the most significant concern is that AI may be able to do it better than humans and at a faster rate. There’s less human energy involved, so AI fake news can just run rampant. The question now is, how will we know what real or fake news is anymore? Then again, how could we ever have been sure about the news given to us?

Philosophical questions aside, we’ll see if this alarm is enough for someone to start finally regulating AI like they eventually did with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Drago said on March 29, 2023 at 11:03 am

    Like I mentioned elsewhere (, a child could do better.

    I will reiterate; the image was meant for entertaining the gullible and giving mindless media another excuse to write more dull uninspiring AI adverts.

    If dull images like this have gone viral; it’s an indicator social media may be adversely affecting people’s mental health. Possibly dissolving their last two remaining brain cells – the people fooled likely weren’t born with much commonsense…

    Crying night, crying night. The ears of a child. A cockatoo? The thunder cracks
    Despair! Brutal whispers, weeping, weeping, weeping
    The bloated sun, a single grape, that silently mocks our–

    The Bishop of Rome doesn’t typically wear such poor quality clothes anyway. Again, the generated images are poor quality; his right hand [main picture] also looks malformed. The dimensions, lighting and shadows, and textures also look artificial in both images.

  2. John G. said on March 29, 2023 at 12:05 am

    God would agree.

  3. Tom Hawack said on March 28, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    I like the one with the sun glasses evoking something like “His Holiness, wondering as he wanders in Gstadt”

    Are these fakes (together with new ones each day) “the first instance of global AI misinformation and the beginning of chaos”? You know, when you tell ’em (those who rely on feelings to accredit or not) the truth they think you’re lying and vice versa. We used to say “Don’t believe everything you read” and now we’ll add “everything you see and hear”. Like someone commented on another Ghacks article, perhaps the best approach is to consider the plausibility of an image, though not sufficient when fakes are plausible : famous fakes of trump being arrested were not plausible, but when fakes are plausible then deeper investigation is necessary and that ain’t easy. And the other way around : true pics, recordings of true facts are sometimes so unbelievable that we’re bound to deny them…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.