Fact CheckMainstream

False! Photos of  cocaine festival in Mexico, AI-generated

Claim: Photos have gone viral, with users claiming a Cocaine Festival was held in Mexico.

Verdict: DUBAWA Ghana has found the images generated by Artificial Intelligence.

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Social media users share photos featuring a crowd in a jubilant mood with a white powder substance. They claim the photos are from a Cocaine festival in Mexico this year.

Some of these posts can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

A collage of images being shared by users to back the claim.


We began with a Google search to ascertain if such a festival had been held in Mexico but found no news publication to back the claim.

A Google reverse image search was also conducted to discover if the images existed online and the context in which they were used. We found three websites that had published viral images and even more. These websites, found here, here, and here, had published the pictures with captions to suggest that they were artificially generated.

“Mexican Cocaine Festival Painted with AI,” all three websites captioned the pictures.

Also, we found that the same set of photos had been posted in a Facebook Group named “AI Univers”.

“AI art group community where members can share their latest AI-generated artwork, techniques, and inspiration,” their bio description reads.

The user who posted the images in the Group is one of the platform’s administrators.

Usually, with AI-generated images, they appear very polished and perfect. The pictures in circulation fall under this category, creating room for doubt about their originality.

Several publications on detecting AI images, such as the one published by the German News outlet DW, indicate that hands are currently the main source of errors in AI images.

In some of the photos that have gone viral, we observed various deformations. Some of the people in the images had just four fingers. In some other instances, the gaps within the fingers were unusual.

Areas circled with red show various deformations. 

Aside from the unusual arrangements of fingers, we observed that the people’s facial expressions were very similar, raising red flags.


Our analysis of the photos points to an indication that Artificial Intelligence generated them.

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