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  • Mal McCallion

Fake 'Tank Man' rules SEO

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

It looks familiar - but then not familiar at the same time, doesn't it?

Since the internet started, type 'Tank Man' into Google and - provided you weren't in the People's Republic of China itself, of course - you'd get the famous image of the man standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square, in 1989. This week, if you typed the same thing into Google (before it was taken down) - you would have got the above image.

What is it? It's an AI fake, supposedly of what a selfie from 'Tank Man' would have produced at that moment. Putting aside some obvious issues - 16 years before smartphone invention, posterity-capture unlikely to be uppermost in the guy's mind - the real story is the diminishing, by fakes, of real stories.

If it's possible for one of the most iconic images of last century to be displaced by a few-weeks-old meme, then what's possible lower down the food-chain? Google has had to remove this image but what of those that might displace one of our hard-earned positions on page one of the ever-present search engine?

AI is changing much - fast. And it's catching out even those that are supposedly at the bleeding-edge of it.

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