AI-generated image “All eyes on Rafah” has made millions of shares

A view of a fictional city created with Artificial Intelligence by a Malaysian user is becoming one of the biggest viral cases ever on Instagram.

In the emotional aftermath of the massacre at the Rafah refugee camp, an image created by the Malaysian user shahv4012 using AI went viral in the hours that followed, shared by influencers and celebrities alike. The image, formatted as a story, depicts a large tent camp with the words “All Eyes on Rafah.”

On the one hand, social media platforms, particularly Instagram, have been criticized by various users for not entirely transparent policies regarding the conflict; on the other hand, Instagram has simultaneously become an important vehicle for direct information, with many Palestinian users beginning to share their direct experiences on the platform immediately after October 7, bearing witness to the atrocious violence they have endured.

For years, there has been an important ethical debate about images of death, war, and violence, the legitimacy of their dissemination, and the perspective to be afforded to the victims. It is noteworthy that it was not one of the many real photographs capturing the inhumanity of the ongoing genocide in Gaza that went viral, but rather a much more neutral and, in some respects, detached image—a symbol more than evidence. Nevertheless, thanks to social media, we have all become indirect witnesses to what has happened.

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