The Insider reported that an apparently AI-generated photo faking an explosion near the Pentagon in D.C. went viral. The Arlington Police Department confirmed that the image and accompanying reports were fake. But when the news was shared by a reputable Twitter account on Monday, the market briefly dipped.
The photo was spread by dozens of accounts on social media, including RT, a Russian state-media Twitter account with more than 3 million followers — but the post has since been deleted. Most other accounts that retweeted the image appear to be affiliated with conspiracies or the war in Ukraine.
Now, this in essence is nothing new and been done many times before. What is more interesting is the immediate reaction of the markets. So fast, that only program trading connected to social media without any human intervention would explain drops like this. Here are the markets yesterday:
This time, the systems corrected quickly, but it shows the risk of potentially much worse. People need to be aware of the decades-long influence campaigns that have been run by state-sponsored bad actors.