A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Viral Biden Video Is Deceptively Edited


Quick Take

A deceptively edited clip of Joe Biden makes it look like he endorsed President Donald Trump. Actually, he said that Trump would be re-elected if Democrats wage a negative campaign.


Full Story

A clip of former Vice President Joe Biden speaking in Missouri on March 7 has racked up hundreds of thousands of likes, shares, and views on conservative social media accounts. But it’s misleadingly edited.

Here’s what Biden said:

Biden, March 7: If you want a nominee who will bring this party together, who will run a progressive, positive campaign, and turn, turn this primary from a campaign that’s about negative attacks into one about what we’re for, because we cannot get re-elect, we cannot win this re-election — excuse me, we can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here — it’s got to be a positive campaign, so join us.”

The clipped version cuts off the last part of Biden’s statement, making it look like he finished his thought by saying, “[W]e can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

The original video shared on Biden’s YouTube channel got 21,000 views as of March 9. While one version of the edited clip drew more than 95,000 views on YouTube.

It has also been widely shared on Twitter, where the president retweeted two versions of the clipped video — one from the director of social media at the White House, Dan Scavino, and one from the founder of the conservative organization Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk.

Twitter labeled the edited video as “manipulated media” under its new policy to address fake or misleading videos, audio, and pictures. This is the first time that Twitter has used the label since implementing the policy on March 5, according to the company. As of March 9, though, a technical glitch was keeping the label from showing up on some views of the tweet, according to Twitter. When the label is working correctly, users can click through to see news coverage about the deceptive editing.

The edited clip has also been shared on Facebook and Instagram, where one version replaced the Biden campaign sign on the podium with a Trump campaign sign and Donald Trump Jr. shared a version with text over the top that said: “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.” The president’s son also included some laughter emojis, perhaps suggesting that Biden – who is known for gaffes – had accidentally endorsed Trump.

But none of these posts accurately reflect what Biden actually said.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Biden, Joe. Video. “I’m about to take the stage from Missouri. Tune in to watch live:” YouTube. 7 Mar 2020.

Synthetic and manipulated media policy. Twitter. Accessed 9 Mar 2020.

Scavino, Dan (@DanScavino). “Sleepy Joe in St. Louis, Missouri today: ‘We can only re-elect @realDonaldTrump.’ #KAG2020LandslideVictory.” Twitter. 7 Mar 2020.

Trump, Donald Jr. (donaldjtrumpjr). “We are 100% with you on this one Joe. It’s truly sad to me that the Democrats and even his family are allowing this charade to continue. This is just one of hundreds of examples of a man that is totally not with it. If @realdonaldtrump made one of these slips once a year everyone in the media would say he has lost his mind. When Joe does it every day and confuses simple things (Like which office he’s running for, which person is his wife, what state he’s in, and who he can appoint to various positions) they say it’s cute and funny. It’s no longer cute or funny and they must stop the nonsense.” Instagram. 8 Mar 2020.