May 21, 2024

Why Are Researchers Warning About This Shrimp Jesus On Facebook

Using AI-generated images, scammers can reach hundreds of thousands of users on Facebook. Facebook's algorithm helps you with that.

Julius Zelczynski/TOnline

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Jesus figure made of shrimp. Jesus with the crab body is worshiped by other crabs. These and other similar images generated by artificial intelligence are currently flooding Facebook and often receive hundreds of thousands of likes. Images are not just for fun, scammers often use them to attract users' attention to their pages. This is the conclusion reached by a research group at Stanford University.

Shrimp Jesus

AI-generated image of Jesus Shrimp. Scammers use these images to attract attention.Photo: Facebook

These scam sites specifically use images designed to attract users' attention. In addition to the previously mentioned Jesus figures, scammers also often use images that are not easy to spot as fake. For example, other sites share photos of children standing next to artworks that were supposedly made by themselves, usually accompanied by comments such as: “I made this with my own hands.” Posts are designed so that as many people as possible will interact with them.

The algorithm exacerbates the problem

Among the posts, scammers then share links to websites where the goal is to either lure users into purchasing products that don't actually exist or reveal their personal information. Many of these posts try to warn users about these scams, but Stanford researchers have shown that they still work.

What's particularly problematic is that these posts also appear to users who don't follow these pages or have previously interacted with them. According to the researchers, this is because Meta, Facebook's parent company, modified its algorithm some time ago so that the Facebook homepage primarily shows things that have a particularly high number of interactions. Meta decided to make a change to this algorithm in order to keep users on the site longer and thus be able to better compete with TikTok.

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