Midjourney Shuts Down Free Trials After Influx of Users and Massive Fake Images

Trump, Pope Francis, and fake historical events are one of the images that went viral and generate an influx of fake new accounts.

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In the last few days, we have seen a lot of AI-generated images that inevitably raise the question about how are these tools going to affect the way we conceive reality and consume media.

Trump being arrested, fake historical events such as the “Great Cascadia”, and Pope Francis wearing Balenciaga and partying (definitely my favorite) are just one of the few fake images shared in the Midjourney Reddit community.  

The impact of this phenomenon, along with a how-to video shared in China generated a wave of fake new user accounts that affected the usage for paid users, so Midjourney CEO decided to kill the free trial. This is due to “extraordinary demand and trial abuse” as it was shared on the Midjourney Discord community.

It’s sad to read this, but Midjourney 5, the launch that helped to create all of these photorealistic images, is still available for paid users. So chances are we are going to still see these fake shoots of famous people involved in weird situations. 

There’s also this thing going on with the open letter signed by Elon Musk and other tech people asking to stop AI research in some way… but without any clear action to pursue towards the safeness of technology. 

We know this is not going to happen because AI is here to stay, but concerns about the impact on human work and fake news are a real concern behind the hype.

In fact, more than one indie maker from the #buildinpublic community on Twitter found out that their businesses simply died after ChatGPT launched plugins. The projects they worked toward months or even years, suddenly died overnight. But also, people are using GPT-4 to build and ship projects in no time, even without knowing how to code. So maybe it’s also an opportunity to build new stuff using the help of AI.

But what’s probably scariest is that this AI fever started only a few months ago. Remember ChatGPT launch? Well, it was on November 30, even when it feels like it was years ago, at least for me. The Midjourney launch was only a few months before this.

I remember wondering back then how long until these tools help us believe fake news? And it’s happening faster than I thought.

But on the other hand, there’s also the fact that people were already believing fake news without the help of AI-generated images, so how real is this fear? After all, if we get used to this new world where we know there’s a possibility of fake images being out there, chances are we don’t buy everything we see. How is this different from when Photoshop became a real thing on social media? 

Maybe, this AI hype will make us become more skeptical and value old-fashioned ways to create content. After all, it looks like humans better like the work that processes take rather than the outputs we can generate with simple prompts.

Sofia Terlesky

Sofia Terlesky

I'm an SEO content manager with over five years of experience planning and writing for blogs and social media, helping small and mid-size businesses grow organically. Now, I'm responsible for planning Unita's content calendar—ensuring we are offering valuable content for community builders and founders.