Viral images of children in Gaza holding cats are AI-generated

By: Sam Doak
December 11 2023

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Viral images of children in Gaza holding cats are AI-generated

Screenshot of viral images that claim to show a child holding on to his cat amid rubble and debris in the Gaza strip. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

These viral photos are not genuine. Several peculiarities in the images indicate they are AI-generated.

Claim ID 653ed538


Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, images of children holding cats while surrounded by rubble and debris have been going viral on social media. These images, shared across TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, claim to show children in Gaza with their pets following Israeli military operations in the area. Their dramatic nature has led to widespread sharing by users who believe they depict actual events during the conflict.

However, Logically Facts has determined these images are AI-generated.

In fact

In assessing whether these images are AI-generated, Logically Facts examined several features. One of the most glaring elements that pointed to the origin of these images is that one of the cats shown has five legs. Other irregularities include a finger that appears to fork and a paw that does not resemble a cat's. AI-generated images commonly result in this type of error — extra fingers, teeth, legs, and so on — and are a reliable indicator of an image's lack of authenticity. 

Source: Facebook, modified by Logically Facts
Screenshot of one viral image that claims to show a child holding on to his cat amid rubble and debris in the Gaza strip. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts) 

Screenshot of two of these images, highlighting indications they are AI-generated. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts) 

Other peculiarities include a child with fewer than five fingers on one hand and inconsistencies in the proportions of individuals and animals. These factors, along with the airbrushed appearance of the images, led Logically Facts to confidently conclude they are not genuine photographs. Further, no reputable source or origin for these images could be found.

The images seem to have originated from a TikTok account which has since been removed. Shayan Sardarizadeh, a journalist at BBC Verify specializing in mis- and disinformation coverage, confirmed the same in an X post, "All the images in this tweet, claiming to show children in Gaza finding their pet cats upon returning to their destroyed homes, are AI-generated. They first appeared in a TikTok video by an account known for sharing AI-generated images from Gaza."

In its coverage concerning these images, Snopes reached the same conclusion as Logically Facts in determining that these images are AI-generated.

The verdict

These images are AI-generated, as evidenced by the various peculiarities seen in them. No reputable source has recognized them as genuine, nor has any photographer been credited. Therefore, this claim has been marked as fake.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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