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People Are So Grossed Out by Photo of Melania and Barron That Snopes Had to Fact Check It

One of the biggest downsides to Artificial Intelligence and photoshopped pictures is that it is getting increasingly difficult to tell what is real and what is fake. It can be safely guaranteed that soon enough, one won’t be able to tell the difference even with the software in front of you.

It is our future. It will be used for good and it will be used as a pernicious weapon. It will impact how we govern ourselves. We have already had a lesson in what happens when there is no truth, at least not to some.

Thus it was that a photo of Barron Trump (Who is 18 now and can be the subject of fair and sensitive media scrutiny), along with his mother, spurned serious controversy due to the “weird” sexual overtones that were especially weird given the picture was taken when Barron was nine years old.

There is no point in discussing the picture without setting it out for the breakdown afterward:

Melania and son Barron at Trump Tower in 2016. Photo by Regine Mahaux for Getty Images

You can obviously see why many believed that the picture had to be photoshopped. Who would have that picture taken? Obviously, someone is taking a picture of Barron taking a picture – or at least acting like he is taking a picture. Additionally, 8 years old or not, that’s a highly sexualized pose.

Snopes labeled the picture [1] real:

“However, the photo was real and was found in the Getty Images library [2], which is why we labeled this claim “True.”

It was taken on Jan. 6, 2016 — when Barron was 9 — during a photo shoot at Trump Tower in New York City and was credited to Regine Mahaux, according to the caption:

So this one was real which – if one concentrates on it, just makes it really disturbing. The net had a lot to say about it.


Jason MIciak is an Editor at Large with Occupy Democrats and is spending time with friends at Political Flare, he can be reached at [email protected] and @JasonMiciak on Musk’s mash.