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Viral Image Does Not Show O’Rourke

Quick Take

Dubious posts on social media erroneously claim that a photo of an activist is former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is also running for president.

Full Story

Multiple, popular posts on Facebook in recent days misidentify a nearly naked activist as former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

The man in the photo does not even resemble O’Rourke, who announced his 2020 campaign for president on March 14. While some commenters used the posts as an opportunity to criticize O’Rourke, some called out the deception for what it is.

“Remind everyone of this pic when this fool says he is gonna run for president,” text above the photo reads. “This is Robert O’Rourke (beto).”

The man in the photo has words such as “feminist,” “atheist,” “vegan” and “queer” scrawled across his body.

Reverse image searches on TinEye and Google led us to a June 2016 blog post about a gay pride parade in Athens, Greece, that includes an uncropped version of the same photo. We found the same image in another blog’s post titled “New Queer Greece.”

Another photo of the same individual on Getty Images pegs the date of the parade as June 11, 2016.

O’Rourke wasn’t in Greece at the time: On the same day, O’Rourke spoke at the El Paso High School Centennial Graduation, as a video posted on his verified Facebook page shows.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on the social media network.


Gay Pride Parade 2016 in Athens.” Getty Images. 11 Jun 2016.

O’Rourke, Beto (@BetoORourkeTX16). “El Paso High Centennial Graduation.” Facebook Watch Video. 12 Jun 2016.

Zitro, Anti. “And this year Athens Pride with imported sisters sisters!” AntiZitro.blogspot.com. 12 Jun 2016.

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Viral posts claim activist in image is former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.
Thursday, March 14, 2019