Fake AI images starring Donald Trump “threaten” to derail the US presidential election. Trump supporters create and share fake AI-generated images of black voters to encourage African-Americans to vote for Republicans reports the British BBC network.

BBC Panorama discovered dozens of deepfakes depicting African-Americans supporting the former president. Except they don’t exist.

Trump openly “flirts” with black voters, who turned out decisive for the electoral victory of Joe Biden in 2020.

However, there is no evidence that directly link these images to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

The co-founder of Black Voters Matter, a group that encourages black people to vote, said the doctored images promoted a “strategic narrative” designed to show Mr Trump as popular in the black community.

A creator of one of the images told the BBC: “I’m not claiming they’re accurate.”

Fake AI-generated images of Trump’s “black supporters” are one of the emerging disinformation trends ahead of the US presidential election in November.

Unlike in 2016, when there were indications of foreign attempts to manipulate the election, the AI-generated images spotted by the BBC appear to have been created and shared by Americans.

AI generated image of black Trump supporters

One of them was Mark Kay and his team on a conservative radio show in Florida.

They created an image of Mr Trump smiling with his arms around a group of black women at a party and shared it on Facebook, where Mr. Kay has more than a million followers.

At first the image looks like a real photo, but on closer inspection the people’s skin is all overly shiny and smooth, and fingers are missing from their hands – some telltale signs of AI-generated images.

“I’m not a photojournalist,” Kay told the BBC from his radio studio. “I’m not out there photographing what’s really happening. I’m a storyteller.”

All major social media companies have policies in place to deal with similar incidents of manipulation and deception – such as Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram – having introduced new measures to deal with AI-generated content during the election.