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AI Trump arrest photos creator banned from platform

Then-President Donald J. Trump. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
March 22, 2023

The creator of a series of AI-generated images of former President Donald Trump being arrested and going to prison has been banned from the platform he used to make them.

The images went viral early this week as news reports indicated Trump may soon face criminal charges in a long-running hush money investigation. 

READ MORE: Trump wants to be handcuffed if charged, he says: Report

Their creator – Eliot Higgins, founder of investigative journalism group Bellingcat – now says that he has been blocked from the tool he used to create the lifelike illustrations, Midjourney.

“Apparently doing a viral thread about Donald Trump using Midjourney images is enough to get you banned from Midjourney, oops,” he tweeted Wednesday, two days after posting the first pictures.

Higgins did not post proof of his ban, and a Midjourney developer did not immediately reply to a request for comment. 

However, the word “arrested” is currently prohibited from being used in text prompts that inspire Midjourney images. If the word is used, Midjourney returns this message: “The word arrested is banned. Circumventing this filter to violate our rules may result in your access being revoked.”

One of Midjourney’s rules states: “Don’t use our tools to make images that could inflame, upset, or cause drama. That includes gore and adult content.”

Higgins told BuzzFeed News, “I suspect it was pushing my luck when I did the thread, let alone when it went viral.”

“They kind of formed a narrative and I thought it was really amusing,” he said. “I put it out there. I didn’t intend to do any clever criticism or anything like that. But then it kind of took on a life of its own.”

READ MORE: Trump mugshot, fingerprinting will happen if charged, Michael Cohen says

A Manhattan grand jury has been expected to vote this week on whether to indict Trump in a case that reportedly centers on alleged 2016 attempts to buy the silence of two women who said they had sex with him, which he denies.

The first images in Higgins’ thread, posted Monday, showed Trump resisting arrest.

The former president is then lodged in jail and appears in court.

Trump is apparently convicted and sentenced to prison, where he cries in a cell and picks out an orange jumpsuit.

Images in the thread show Trump reading in his cell and mopping floors.

Trump is pictured playing basketball with inmates and lifting weights.

Wearing an orange tie with his jumpsuit, Trump eventually escapes from prison.

The final pictures in the series show Trump immediately visiting a McDonald’s-like restaurant, ordering food, and weeping at one of the booths.