Image of ‘human meat’ for sale is AI-generated

28 March 2024
What was claimed

A photo shows hand-shaped “human meat” being sold at a supermarket.

Our verdict

This is not a real photo. The image was created using artificial intelligence.

Thousands of people have shared an image on social media with claims it shows “human meat” for sale at a supermarket. But the image was created using artificial intelligence (AI).  

The image shows meat in the shape of human hands, seemingly vacuum-packed and stocked on a supermarket shelf. Multiple posts have been shared with the caption “Human Meat On The Market!”, and one post has more than 6,100 shares on Facebook. 

One TikTok user who posted the video added a comment to say they’d read that it was a photo taken in London, while another user suggested it was animal meat cut into the shape of a human hand. 

But this is not a real photo. 

It appears to have first been shared by a Facebook page described as “visual arts” on 19 March with the caption: “Human meat shop”. Full Fact contacted the page, and the Facebook user confirmed they’d created the image using AI generating tool MidJourney with the prompt “human hands packet as meat in supermarket shelf”. The user also shared with us other AI photos generated using the same prompt. 

The Facebook page is also admin for a group called ‘AI Universe’ and shared this image to another group called ‘Cursed AI’ on 20 March

There are also other clues that suggest this image was made with AI. As we’ve written in our guide to identifying AI images, errors with fingers or garbled text are often giveaways. In this case, many of the hands in the image have only four fingers, while the text written on the labels doesn’t appear to make any sense. 

In 2012, a pop-up butchery in London did reportedly sell meat products “simulating human body parts” to promote the launch of the video game Resident Evil 6, so it is possible some of those commenting on the TikTok video may have assumed these were photos from that.  

This is not the first time we’ve seen AI images being shared as if they’re genuine, or being mistaken for real images. Other examples include pictures of hay bales and tractors by the Eiffel Tower, Pope Francis addressing crowds in Lisbon and portraits of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, among others

We’ve also written about claims “human meat” was being grown in the UK and sold in supermarkets. The claims were actually based on a satirical documentary. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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