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Island Boys deny they've ever met Jeffrey Epstein as photo goes viral

Island Boys deny they've ever met Jeffrey Epstein as photo goes viral

Conspiracy theorists had latched onto the photo, which many believed to be real

TikTok twins The Island Boys have found themselves at the centre of a conspiracy theory online.

An image began circulating appearing to show convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein with two young boys.

Conspiracy theorists subsequently latched onto the image, claiming that the two boys in the photo were the viral TikTok stars Franky and Alex Venegas, who use the stage name The Island Boys.

The image of Epstein.

The photo looks convincing, and began circulating on social media in April.

In it, Epstein appears to pose on a beach with four boys, two of them in front of him, who appear caucasian though The Island Boys are of Cuban heritage.

Epstein has become the centre of numerous conspiracy theories over his infamous private island.

The tropical island Little St James in the US Virgin Islands may have appeared to be a piece of paradise, but was actually at the centre of an international sex trafficking ring.

A criminal complainant told the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands that the island was 'the perfect hideaway and haven for trafficking young women and underage girls for sexual servitude, child abuse, and sexual assault'.

The Island Boys have denied knowing Epstein.

Epstein's Island is unfortunately the perfect conditions for conspiracy theories to take root. In the case of the image of The Island Boys, unfortunately it seems this is exactly what has happened.

The Island Boys have denied they are in the photo, and added they had no idea who Epstein was until he began featuring in the news over his crimes.

Alex said that neither he nor his brother left their home state of Florida until they were 18 years old.

They have also claimed that the image is a fake. In this case, it seems that may indeed be the case.

The picture appeared on small Instagram page @aiartisking, which only posts AI generated images. While the original post only got a small number of likes, the image has since been reposted in a lower definition.

A fact-check by PolitiFact looked into the image, and confirmed that it has been generated using AI.

Hive Moderation, which is a programme designed to detect AI-generated images, found there was an overwhelming likelihood the image was AI-generated. A 99.9 percent likelihood in fact, and it doesn't get much more likely than that.

So-called 'deepfake' images are one of the more immediately alarming problems being caused by AI. This could be harmful even if the image is proven to be fake, as this case sadly shows.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@aiartisking/TikTok/flyysouljah/kodiyakredd

Topics: Jeffrey Epstein, US News, News, TikTok