@GregAbbott_TX posts video of alleged alligator in Eagle Pass with unusual swimming style after recent AI conspiracies



Texas Gov Warns Migrants on Alligator
that Could Be Deep Fake with AI Signs

Capitol Inside
April 29, 2024

Governor Greg Abbott ran the risk of getting punked on social media late Sunday night when he issued a solemn warning to migrants about the dangers of being eaten alive by alligators while crossing the Rio Grande based on a video that could have been generated by artificial intelligence.

"Alligators are in the Rio Grande," Abbott said in a post on X. "FYI there are warning signs posted in some sectors. Cross at your own risk."

While most of the gators that live in the river that separates Texas from Mexico can be found near the coast, the one that triggered the governor's newfound concern for the health and safety of the people coming here illegally was purportedly captured on camera by a fisherman in Eagle Pass.

Abbott didn't appear to be worried that the moving image he passed along could be deep fake technology that's powered by AI. Eagle Pass is 325 miles from the port at Brownsville on the Gulf of Mexico where alligators are more likely to lurk in the murky waters of the Rio Grande. But the Texas governor has a history of being played by conspiracy theory peddlers with a shoot-before-thinking mentality on social media. That's especially true when he's alone at night on weekends.

The creature in the clip Abbott shared appeared to be unique - swimming in a way that resembles mermaids, dragons, the Loch Ness monster or "the kraken" that Donald Trump lawyers threatened to "release" during the failed election challenge in 2020. Abbott took no position on the kraken's unleashing at the time as a Trump loyalist.

But alligators in the Rio Grande have been a popular source of conspiracy theories that seek to scare people from crossing the river into the Lone Star State. The U.S. Border Patrol has denied rumors that it released an army of alligators into the Rio Grande to do the job that Abbott and GOP lawmakers have spent more than $11 billion doing without any real success based on legitimate standards.

The graphics and videos that purport to show alligators being released into the Rio Grande were analyzed by experts and deemed to be products of an AI hoax. While the number of migrants who've drowned in the Rio Grande in 2024 has reached double digits, the odds for crossing into Texas without being attacked by an alligator are about as high as they could possibly be on paper.

More than 9 million migrants have been apprehended by the Border Patrol in Texas after crossing the Rio Grande in the past decade. No apparent alligator attacks involving migrants have been recorded on the southern border during that span of time. That's the same number of migrants who've been forced back to Mexico by Abbott's forces at the river since the inception of Operation Lone Star more than three years.

Even if the alligator in the Abbott X post was real, the governor presumably knows by now that migrants aren't as easy to frighten as supporters in the GOP base. Most are too smart to be fooled by artificial intelligence and too tough and courageous to be scared away if they're as gullible as the voters who Abbott wants to please.

Abbott for example showed pictures a year ago that purportedly showed an alligator swimming up to a Texas National Guard boat somewhere in or around Eagle Pass. The governor issued the same warning to migrants at the time. The number of migrants apprehended in the Del Rio sector that's anchored by Eagle Pass surged to record levels in the next few months despite the words of caution.

more to come ...







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