Satanic Panic Happens at Hobby Lobby Over Fake Photos

In the latest social media uproar, people are sharing images of what appears to be satanic merchandise on the shelves of Hobby Lobby stores. Outraged consumers are vowing to boycott the company, joining the ranks of those who refuse to drink Bud Light or shop at Target for moral objections to recent campaigns.

However, there’s one major problem with the objections: the pictures people are freaking out about are totally fake.

The images were created by Jennifer Vinyard, an Austin-based pharmacy tech, using an AI image generating tool called Midjourney. Vinyard posted the pictures on Facebook, Reddit and an AI art group on June 5. The pictures started to spread, gaining over six thousand shares as of this writing.

Despite Vinyard’s intention to create humorous content, many users on Facebook and TikTok took the images at face value, expressing shock and disappointment that Hobby Lobby, a self-proclaimed Christian company, would sell such items.

Reactions to the prank ranged from immediate recognition of the AI-generated nature of the images to genuine fear and condemnation of Hobby Lobby’s alleged shift towards satanic merchandise. Some commenters questioned the company’s values, while others lamented the supposed compromise of their beloved craft store. However, unaware of the prank, some individuals made angry and mean-spirited comments, adding to Vinyard’s amusement.

Speaking about her creation, Vinyard revealed that she occasionally experiments with Midjourney and enjoys painting and drawing.

“I couldn’t believe how many likes and shares the photos got,” Vinyard said. “I’ve read so many comments that cracked me up, mostly from the people who thought they were real and were super angry. I even got some mean Messenger messages from them.”

Vinyard said it only took Midjourney around 10 minutes to generate the images.

“I’m actually a little embarrassed that they weren’t better…If I knew they were going to blow up the way they did, I would have spent more time on them.”

Vinyard’s prank taps into recent culture wars, as conservative consumers increasingly scrutinize and protest against companies they perceive as challenging their values. Target, for example, faced immense backlash for its Pride Month displays, and a union representing Starbucks workers recently accused the coffee giant of removing pro-LGBTQ signage and merchandise, an allegation that Starbucks denies.

The post Satanic Panic Happens at Hobby Lobby Over Fake Photos appeared first on RELEVANT.

Title: Satanic Panic Happens at Hobby Lobby Over Fake Photos
Source: REL ::: RELEVANT
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Date: June 15, 2023 at 11:36PM
Feedly Board(s): Religion