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AI images create controversy for Hobby Lobby

Customers and supporters of the Christian-owned arts and crafts store, Hobby Lobby, were left perplexed earlier this month due to AI-generated images circulating online. The images portrayed Hobby Lobby as selling statues depicting demonic figures, leading to confusion and controversy. The creator of these images, Jennifer Vinyard, who is associated with The Satanic Temple, utilized Midjourney, a generative artificial intelligence program, to produce realistic depictions of the demonic deity known as Baphomet seemingly available for sale at Hobby Lobby stores. The post received more than a hundred comments and was shared over 6,000 times which led Facebook to turn off commenting. However, it generated confusion among Hobby Lobby supporters by then.

Church Leaders reports:

Earlier this month, AI-generated images in which Hobby Lobby is depicted as selling demonic statues caused confusion among customers and fans of the Christian-owned arts and crafts store.

The images were created by Jennifer Vinyard, a member of The Satanic Temple, using a generative artificial intelligence program called Midjourney.

Vinyard posted realistic images of the demonic god Baphomet appearing to be sold in Hobby Lobby stores, labeling the post with the caption: “I think we need to talk about what is going on at Hobby Lobby…won’t somebody please think of the children!?”

The post was shared more than 6,000 times, garnering over a hundred comments before Facebook turned off commenting—but not before it created confusion for Hobby Lobby enthusiasts and supporters.

One commenter, who knew the images were fake, said, “Hobby Lobby is gonna get cancelled if people believe these are real.”

“I couldn’t believe how many likes and shares the photos got,” Vinyard told Motherboard Tech by VICE. “I’ve read so many comments that cracked me up, mostly from the people who thought they were real and were super angry. I even got some mean Messenger messages from them.”

Vinyard shared how easy it was to create the images, explaining that the “prompt was actually very simple, it was something along the lines of ‘Hobby Lobby selling Satanic products.’”

Read the full article here.

Photo by CyberXRef

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