A graphic image depicting a cow with blood-stained bones resembling the logo of McDonald's has been shared hundreds of times in social media posts with a false claim it shows the fast-food chain's new logo in the United States. However, the claim is false. The image was in fact created with an artificial intelligence tool.  

Warning: Graphic content

"McDonald's new logo in America. The government is forced not to stop it because politicians take bribes. What is the compulsion of Hindus to eat the goods of this company which slaughters cows," reads the Hindi-language caption of a post shared here on X on December 14, 2023.

The image that resembles the McDonald's logo shows a skinned cow chained inside a building.

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Cows are considered sacred by Hindus and many Indian states have banned their slaughter.

AFP has reported about vigilante squads that roam highways to stop the animals from being transported across state borders, some of which have been linked to sectarian violence between India's majority Hindus and its 200-million-strong Muslim minority.

The US fast-food chain does not serve beef or pork at its outlets in India to avoid offending Hindus and Muslims.

Some users believed the claim to be true and called for a boycott of McDonald's products. 

One user wrote: "This is an insult to the entire Hindu society, all Hindus should together boycott all the products of McDonald's."

"After all, for how long will we continue to tolerate playing with our religious symbols, the Government of India should immediately take cognizance of this matter and ban this logo of McDonald's," another wrote.

The image was shared with similar claims on Facebook here and here and on X here.

However, the picture was in fact generated with an artificial intelligence tool.

AI-generated image

A reverse image search on Google with relevant keywords found the image was posted in the official X account of animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on December 11, 2023 (archived link).

The caption with the image reads: "If @McDonalds' Marketing was accurate."

The post also credited the picture to Itzhak Garbuz -- a Facebook user based in Israel -- who uploaded the same picture on September 19, 2023 (archived link).

A native Hebrew speaker checked his post and the comments. Garbuz responded to a question in the comment section and said that he created the image. “It is the combination of tools and several models. Roughly: Stable diffusion a1111 + ControlNet,” he wrote in Hebrew.

Stable Diffusion and ControlNet are generative AI tools (archived link).

Below is the screenshot comparison of the image in the false post (left) and Garbuz's Facebook post image (right):

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