Brutal battle between Trump and DeSantis camps over AI-generated ads reveals a lesson for us all

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign are currently feuding over images generated by artificial intelligence.

The feud erupted Monday when DeSantis’ camp published an anti-Trump ad that contained AI-generated images of Trump hugging and even kissing Dr. Anthony Fauci.

While most of the ad’s content was real, the Fauci photos were not. Moreover, the Fauci photos weren’t clearly labeled as fake in the ad. In fact, there were no labels at all.

Watch the original ad below:

As this video went viral, it prompted backlash from Trump supporters — particularly Trump supporters who were still a little undecided.

Tim Pool, a popular pro-Trump commentator, was particularly aggrieved.

“Holy f–k this is dirty as sh-t. DeSantis War Room is running AI Images of Trump embracing Fauci. This crosses the line,” he tweeted.

“I was 55/45 for Trump/DeSantis. Now Im 0% for DeSantis. Using AI images to smear Trump is a hard f–k you. DeSantis must disavow,” he added.

The tweets quickly went viral, and in doing so, they triggered a war of words over who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

As far as Trump supporters are concerned, DeSantis is 100 percent in the wrong, period.

Look:

“Fake images from a fake campaign for a fake candidate. This stunt had the ‘please clap’ energy of Ron DeSanctimonious’ mentor, Jeb Bush,” a Trump campaign adviser told Fox News.

However, DeSantis’ supporters have pushed back on the criticism by correctly noting that Trump’s camp has been using AI images, audio, and videos since day one.

For example, after the governor’s somewhat failed Twitter launch weeks ago, Trump’s camp posted a fake Twitter Spaces featuring … wait for it … Hitler, George Soros, the devil, and of course DeSantis.

But this is just one of many examples.

See more below:

“Gimma a break. Trump’s been doing this to DeSantis for weeks. At least DeSantis’s AI images are obvious fakes, intended to amuse, not to deceive,” conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who’s staunchly pro-DeSantis, tweeted.

“Trump has been photoshopping images of DeSantis and others for a while and then AI fake images. Now DeSantis does it and the Small Hands Fluke brigade cries. Always punch the bullies, folks,” conservative radio show host Erick Erickson likewise tweeted.

“Would I use AI in an ad? Nope, but for the Trump campaign (and acolytes like Tim Pool) to whine is hilarious. These are the same people who spread an AI-generated Spaces on DeSantis’ launch day, spread photoshopped pictures of Soros at a fundraiser, and have used altered video,” Bonchie, a Red State commentator, added.

What remains unclear is what’ll happen going forward. Some say the best bet is for both campaigns to disavow AI/fake images and just stick to reality. But with Trump’s willingness to attack his enemies, it seems unlikely that such an agreement will be made.

And so for the time being, be skeptical every single time you see a campaign ad, be it from Trump or DeSantis, because it could very well contain AI-generated content …

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Vivek Saxena

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