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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero September 1, 2023

Do these photos show kids practicing satanism in public schools? No, they’re AI-generated

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  • A digital creator made these photos using artificial intelligence.

A few months ago, false claims using artificial intelligence-generated images said Target was selling children’s clothes with satanic imagery. Now, a viral social media post is using AI-generated images as evidence of satanism in public schools. 

A woman in an Aug. 22 Facebook reel said, "Seen what’s going on in public schools around the United States? Watch this." The video then shows six photos of children sitting around a pentagram, wearing horns or being read to by goat-headed figures.

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

A reverse-image search led to the photos’ original source: They were posted May 2 on Facebook by a digital creator whose account is called "The Pumpkin Empress." All six photos were from a photo set captioned, "Don’t forget to support your local BBC ((Baphomet Book Club))."

The same photos previously were fodder for misinformation.  

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The creator "had to edit this (May 2) post because of the amount of uneducated people in my inbox and on my post," and said the photos were "not real. I created these pics with AI (artificial intelligence) software. The children are not real, this never happened." 

The creator posted again May 8 with a screenshot of one of the photos and explained how it was created using Midjourney, an AI image generator.

We reached out to The Pumpkin Empress, and the person who replied declined to comment. PolitiFact also has debunked claims about other photos created by The Pumpkin Empress. 

We rate the claim that photos are evidence of "satanism in public schools" False.

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Do these photos show kids practicing satanism in public schools? No, they’re AI-generated

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