Unravelling AI-Generated Misinformation in the 'Delhi Chalo' Farmers' Protest

Mr. Shrey Madaan
Mr. Shrey Madaan
Research Associate, CyberPeace Foundation
Feb 23, 2024


A photo circulating on social media depicting modified tractors is being misrepresented as part of the 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest narrative. In the recent swirl of misinformation surrounding the 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest. A photo, ostensibly showing a phalanx of modified tractors, has been making the rounds on social media platforms, falsely tethered to the ongoing protests. This image, accompanied by a headline suggesting a mechanical metamorphosis to resist police barricades, was allegedly published by a news agency. However, beneath the surface of this viral phenomenon lies a more complex and fabricated reality.

The Movement 

The 'Delhi Chalo' movement, a clarion call that resonated with thousands of farmers from the fertile plains of Punjab, the verdant fields of Haryana, and the sprawling expanses of Uttar Pradesh, has been a testament to the agrarian community's demand for assured crop prices and legal guarantees for the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The protest, which has seen the fortification of borders and the chaos at the Punjab-Haryana border on February 13, 2024, has become a crucible for the farmers' unyielding spirit.

Yet, amidst this backdrop of civil demonstration and discourse, a nefarious narrative of misinformation has taken root. The viral image, which has been shared with the fervour of wildfire, was accompanied by a screenshot of an article allegedly published by the news agency. This article, dated February 11, 2024, quoted an anonymous official who claimed that intelligence agencies had alerted the police to the protesters' plans to outfit tractors with hydraulic tools. The implication was clear: these machines had been transformed into battering rams against the bulwark of law enforcement.

The Pursuit of Truth

However, the India TV Fact Check team, in their relentless pursuit of truth, unearthed that the viral photo of these so-called modified tractors is nothing but a chimerical creation, a figment of artificial intelligence. Visual discrepancies betrayed its AI-generated nature. 

This is not the first time that the misinformation has loomed over the farmers' protest. Previous instances, including a viral video of a modified tractor, have been debunked by the same fact-checking team. These efforts are a bulwark against the tide of false narratives that seek to muddy the waters of public understanding.

The claim that the photo depicted modified tractors intended for use in the ‘Delhi Chalo’ farmers' protest rally in Delhi on February 13, 2024, was a mirage. 

The Fact Check

OpIndia, in their article, clarified that the photo used was a representative image created by AI and not a real photograph. To further scrutinize this viral photo, the HIVE AI detector tool was employed, indicating a 99.4% likelihood of the image being AI-generated. Thus, the claim made in the post was misleading.

The viral photo claiming that farmers had modified their tractors to avoid tear gas shells and remove barricades put up by the police during the rally was a digital illusion. The internet has become a fertile ground for the rapid spread of misinformation, reaching millions in an instant. Social media, with its complex algorithms, amplifies this spread, as any interaction, even those intended to debunk false information, inadvertently increases its reach. This phenomenon is exacerbated by 'echo chambers,' where users are exposed to a homogenous stream of content that reinforces their pre-existing beliefs, making it difficult to encounter and consider alternative perspectives.


The viral image depicting modified tractors for the ‘Delhi Chalo’ farmers' protest rally was a digital fabrication, a testament to the power of AI in creating convincing yet false narratives. As we navigate the labyrinth of information in the digital era, it is imperative to remain vigilant, to question the veracity of what we see and hear, and to rely on the diligent work of fact-checkers in discerning the truth. The mirage of modified machines serves as a stark reminder of the potency of misinformation and the importance of critical thinking in the age of artificial intelligence.


Feb 23, 2024
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