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Pope puffer thumb.jpg
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World News

Pope's puffer pictures were a prank

by Sophie Drew

Images of the Pope in a puffer jacket went viral over the weekend, stirring up a storm on social media but after all the furore – the images are fake.

Thousands have enjoyed pictures of the pontiff in a giant white coat, complete with his pectoral cross and zucchetto.

But, it turns out the leader of the Roman Catholic Church hasn’t adopted a new, somewhat Gen-Z style.

Instead, the pictures were generated by artificial intelligence (AI), and are completely fabricated.

The pictures are believed to have been created using an AI app called Midjourney, that uses language prompts to create fake photographs.

They were then published on Reddit before the weekend, but made their way to Twitter, where they went viral.

The tale is an ode to the dangers of AI, and the increasing difficulty of sifting the real from the fake when it comes to the internet.

Instead of strutting about in a trendy puffer, Pope Francis spent his weekend in much the usual way - by addressing thousands of faithful followers during his Sunday Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square.

The Pontiff made headlines over the weekend for extending the rules on dealing with abuse in the Roman Catholic Church to lay leaders, and clarifying that both minors and adults can be victims of sexual abuse.


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