An image shared widely on social media purports to show a pair of middle fingers directed at Joe Biden after the US president’s speech in Warsaw, Poland. But the picture has been digitally manipulated; the original photo shared by Biden and the White House depicts a thumbs-up gesture in the crowd.
“Joe is hated all over the world,” said “Catturd,” an account popular with supporters of former president Donald Trump, in a February 22, 2023 tweet sharing the image.
In another post, Newsmax host Benny Johnson added: “How Joe Biden was greeted in Europe.”
The image in the posts appears to show two middle fingers directed toward Biden as he acknowledged the crowd after his February 21 address in Warsaw, Poland. The president championed democracies worldwide and reaffirmed his support for Ukraine as he spoke days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.
The same picture spread across Twitter and other platforms, including Facebook. Some commenters appeared to believe it was real.
But the photo has been digitally altered.
A watermark indicates a Twitter user who describes themselves as a “video meme assassin” and “meme creator” manipulated the image. The account confirmed it is a meme in a reply to another user who asked whether it was authentic.
Johnson said in a follow-up tweet that the picture is a meme and credited the account that created it. But the post received minimal engagement compared to his first.
The original White House photo of Biden, uncovered through a reverse image search, shows a thumbs-up in the crowd. Both Biden and the White House posted the unedited shot to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
One year after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Ukraine is still independent and free.
The United States will continue to work with our allies and partners to stand against Russia’s aggression and provide critical support to the people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Yncea1BtKk
— The White House (@WhiteHouse)
February 22, 2023
AFP photos and C-SPAN footage of the president’s full address confirm the gestures were not middle fingers.
AFP debunked another altered photo from Biden’s overseas trip here.