The AI flight attendants of Facebook

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Why Are People On Facebook Generating AI Religious Art Of Flight Attendants?


Facebook is currently awash in AI spam. Last month, 404 Media covered the bizarre new trend of old people praying to AI images of Shrimp Jesus. But it seems like Shrimp Jesus is out and the hot new Facebook engagement hack being used to terrorize and mystify the platform’s elderly user base is flight attendants praying to Jesus. Here’s what I learned about the pages that are generating these images and my best guess as to why it’s happening.

The search term to use if you want to find this stuff is “beautiful cabin crew,” which seems to be the main way pages are sharing these pictures. You can also use the hashtag #cabincrew to see a bunch more. There are also at least a dozen very, very popular Facebook Groups using some variation of the phrase as their title. Some of these groups are only for AI images of flight attendants, some are for pictures of flight attendants and Jesus, and some are just for sharing softcore pornography — and clearly stolen personal photos and videos — of real human flight attendants. But let’s start with the images that don’t have Jesus in them.

The biggest “cabin crew” group I found is called “Beautiful Cabin Crew 💙 ✈️” and it has around 700,000 members. Most of the posts are AI-generated flight attendants and women in military uniforms posted by bots and/or fake profiles. Though, there do seem to be real men commenting on the posts 😕. This group also doesn’t seem to post any pictures of Jesus. It’s moderated by two people, a Bengali guy and an account called Mitu, which is promoting a network of massive private Facebook Groups sharing actual pornography on the platform. Some of these groups have over a million members and they’re extremely creepy.

There are also a bunch of AI-generated flight attendant influencers. These pages post in the cabin crew groups and are generating thousands of images of flight attendants. Some are incredibly popular, like this one called Bee, which has 150,000 followers. It’s uploading a new AI-generated image every hour from what I can tell.

As for the pages generating the pictures of flight attendants with Jesus, they’re also using these cabin crew communities, most likely as a way to promote themselves. One smaller cabin crew group is called “Cabin crew Beauty love” and it shares both kinds of AI-generated flight attendant pictures. It’s moderated by one of the bigger AI flight attendant pages, which is called “Raffy Tulfo News and Rescue”. It has almost half a million followers and is one of the main sources of all the Jesus-praying-with-flight-attendants photos traveling around Facebook right now. Raffy Tulfo is a Filipino senator and media personality btw and it seems like the page was originally created in 2022 as a way to spoof Tulfo’s real pages.

(Facebook/Wildlife Fan)

Which brings us to the question of where these pages are based. I found one page that was based in Pakistan contributing to a cabin crew group. And I found another, smaller group called “Beautiful Cabin Crew ✈️ ✈️🌏❤,” run by a guy in Cambodia. I suspect that Facebook’s Page Transparency settings have broken somehow or these pages have figured out a way around them with VPNs because almost all of these pages are listed as being run out of the US, but are full of fake details.

A popular AI image page called Tatyand Davon9, which makes flight attendant images, along with other more traditional(?) AI-generated images of just Jesus, went viral on X recently and none of its page information is correct. It has 150,000 followers and lists itself as being based in California. I called the phone number on the page and it goes to a martial arts facility in Florida. The receptionist was very nice, but also very confused when I asked her about the AI pictures of Jesus! I tried to contact another one of these pages — one called Wildlife Fan, which seems to specialize in crying flight attendants? — but its number went to voicemail. Though, the address listed on the page is for a flower shop in California.

The most interesting thing about these groups and pages is that they’re not clearly selling anything — or even, seemingly, working together in any coherent way, like the bad food magicians. Though, one page I came across, Melodee Lynnet, has about 10,000 followers and is now posting flight attendants and pictures of Jesus, but was posting old people and women in wheelchairs celebrating their birthdays earlier this year. (It was the big Facebook engagement hack before AI images took off.) And the Melodee page says it’s affiliated with a viral marketing firm called Quantum Tech HD, but I can’t tell if that’s real or not. I emailed them, but haven’t heard back.

I assume these pages are simply jamming a bunch of popular stuff together to farm engagement to eventually monetize in some way down the line. Why AI images? Because you can flood Facebook with thousands of posts and the platform won’t really do anything about it. These pages are also using the platform’s built-in 3D photo filter, possibly to bypass Facebook’s bar-is-in-hell bare-minimum AI image detection. Why flight attendants? Because Facebook users are, and always have been, uncontrollably horny. But, also, my mom is a flight attendant (sorry mom if you’re reading this!) and aviation and flight attendant Facebook has always been huge. So I think they’re just identifying communities that were already active and swarming them. Why Jesus? Because religious content — and getting users to say “Amen” underneath it — became one of the fastest growing types of content on the site after it stopped promoting news content last year.

The fact that, in the span of less than year, Facebook effectively removed anything resembling news from the platform, even conservative news, and allowed AI-generated spam to take its place, and both investors and advertisers don’t care, should tell you all you need to know about what social networks are in 2024. They’re a data holding pen for advertisers to harvest and it seems like Meta has finally given up pretending they’re anything else. Who cares if users are praying to and/or asking to marry AI images of flight attendants? All that matters is that they’re on the app and you can stick ads in front of them.

The following is part of a promo swap I’m doing with Semafor this week. They were kind enough to give Garbage Day a shout out in their newsletter last week.

Friends of Garbage Day: Meet Semafor Tech – It’s written by one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific reporters, Reed Albergotti. Twice a week, Reed delivers original reporting and exclusive scoops on the emerging themes happening in and around tech. Recent coverage includes an exclusive interview with the CEO of Colossal Biosciences, the startup trying to resurrect the woolly mammoth. 

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A Good Yoga Ball Storage Hack

Per Google Translate: “The technique of storing a balance ball by pressing it against the corner of the ceiling seems to be common knowledge among users, but I feel like there's a lot that people don't know about it.”

On Paywalls And Democracy

Every nine months or so, though usually more often around election years, someone tries to argue that paywalls are bad for democracy. The most recent reheating of this take comes from The Atlantic, in a new piece titled, “Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls”. Of course, you won’t be able to read it unless you pay for an Atlantic subscription. Womp womp.

The Atlantic piece argues that outlets should make their journalism free during the election year because of rampant mis- and disinformation online. And it only offers a single paragraph trying to imagine how an outlet might pay for such an idea, mentioning, uh, grants, sponsors, and ads. Oh dang, what a revolutionary idea.

Writer Hamilton Nolan called the piece “worthless” and “laughably tossed-off” and I agree. Though, Hamilton suggested publicly-funded journalism programs as the only answer to this conundrum. Which, sure, but I don’t think they’re realistic at a scale that would matter in the US. But maybe one day!

My more pragmatic take here is that media outlets should do literally anything that sorta-kinda works. But the idea that cutting off revenue streams during an election year could somehow result in BETTER information is, frankly, idiotic. The big lesson of the free news viral media age wasn’t that news only works when it’s free, the lesson was that well-funded newsrooms work, regardless of where that funding comes from. Report news, figure out how to sell it, and put pressure on platforms (via your reporting) to limit misinformation.

A Few Updates From The Brazil/X Feud

X’s head of legal in Brazil, Diego de Lima Gualda, resigned after Elon Musk said he would defy court orders imposed on the site. Probably smart. Gualda was mentioned by name twice in a recent court decision regarding X, according to a report from Folha (one of Brazil’s largest papers). Gualda was also spotlighted by the new round of Brazilian Twitter Files.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has joined Bluesky. In case you were curious like I was, he’s been on Threads since it launched and has a much bigger presence there.

Wifejak And Husbandjak

I wasn’t going to cover this meme because it’s actually sort of old and I feel like these kind of “memes” don’t really matter anymore, but it went viral over the weekend and briefly became unavoidable for a split second on X. I thought this husbandjak one was pretty funny.

I’d say the main takeaway here, if you’re looking for one, is that a lot of daily life memes like this feel more and more abstracted from actual life because the increasingly small group of guys on sites like X and Reddit making them don’t really seem to experience real life anymore. They’re like projections of a projection of a projection.

Energy Toast


I saw a screenshot of this on X recently and hoped that by finding the original post on Reddit I’d get a few more answers about what’s going on here. It was posted in r/energydrinks, so I assumed “energy toast” is toast with a jam made from some kind of melted down energy drink, but I was curious which. Down in the comments, the original poster said it was something called “C4 jelly,” which I found a recipe for on Instagram. I guess, it’s jelly made from an energy drink called C4.

Anyways, here are my favorite comments:

  • “Every day in this sub we stray further from God.”

  • “Straight to jail”

  • “I mean this in the worst way possible, go to hell 😂”

  • “If you were really in a rush then you'd take it in the shower like everyone else.”

A Real Good AI-Generated Yearbook

***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***

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