Adobe Stock Clarifies AI-Generated Historical Photos Policy


This might seem like a no-brainer for some of us but, in many ways, it’s just another sign of the times.

person holding black dslr camera
Person holding black dslr camera. Photo by Mei-Ling Mirow

That’s because you might wonder “Who wants a fake photo of a real-world event?” and, if you’re like the rest of us, that alone might leave you scratching your head. After all, aren’t there plenty of actual photographs of said event without delving into the realm of fiction?

Well, apparently, some people out there are creating such media for various purposes and Adobe Stock says that its content is not what stock photography’s primary purpose. They say it in a much more political way, naturally, but the whole blog post still feels a lot like reading a primer on common sense.

“Stock content represents creative illustrations, photos, designs, videos and more that can be licensed for commercial use. …As the demand for content increases, Stock contributors have had to race to fill a growing appetite for these types of assets, and for many, generative AI has proven a key unlock. Our Stock contributors have found generative AI to be a very successful tool for engaging in the Stock marketplace. But I want to be clear: Adobe Stock content is not real-world journalistic content and should never be used in journalistic mediums to depict newsworthy events.”

Later in the post, we discover some of the impetus for this clarity when Adobe notes that some AI-generated images are being used for what we would call “fake news” purposes. Or, in other words, to advance a false and/or misleading narrative.

“Recently, some members of our community have shared concern over generative AI war-like images being used on social media to misleadingly describe the Israel-Hamas war. It is disappointing to see people misrepresenting and misusing images, including Adobe Stock content, in this way, especially around a situation that is already causing so much grief, devastation, and destruction.”

To make things easier to navigate (as well as determine what’s what), Adobe Stock is updating its stock submission policies as well as adding clear labels to this type of content. They do admit that, no matter how many policy updates, labels, and changes they make, they ultimately cannot control how some of this stock photography is used. Nonetheless, clear labeling might help combat the problem somewhat and we commend Adobe Stock for that.

Any thoughts you might have on AI-generated photos of current events are welcome in the comments section.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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