Fact Check-Biden’s skin tone ‘mismatch’ in video is not evidence of a deepfake

Claims on social media that U.S. President Joe Biden is a “deepfake” are baseless. A TikTok video circulating online points to a CNBC interview in which a “skin tone mismatch” is visible in Biden’s neck. As previously explained by Reuters, however, this “mismatch” is due to lighting and not a mask, deepfake, or body double.

An Instagram post here from May 18 claims the video “clearly shows that Biden is a deep fake”. The post also includes the hashtag #TheGreatAwakening, often used by supporters of the widely debunked QAnon conspiracy theory ( here ).

In the 14-second clip, which appears to have originated on TikTok given the icons visible on the right of the frame, a voice is heard saying: “Do you see the mask? Let me slow it down. Tell me in the comments who you think is playing the role of Joe Biden.” Reuters was not able to identify the original post as the handle is not visible in the Instagram post.

The Biden clip comes from a Dec. 5, 2019 interview ( here ) with CNBC’s John Harwood while Biden was campaigning in Iowa. In the full interview, the Democratic presidential candidate discusses tax inequality and the threat of an imminent recession, among other issues.

As previously explained by Reuters in October 2020 here , the apparent skin tone mismatch in the footage was caused by the way the interview was lit, and a similar shadow to the one on Biden’s chin and neck are also visible on Harwood, seen at the 3:30, 11:30, 15:20 marks ( here ). The shadow can be seen moving consistently throughout the video with the men’s movements.

Reuters has repeatedly debunked several social media posts that speak to the baseless QAnon belief that Biden is not really president ( here , here , here , here , here).


False. Apparent skin tone ‘mismatch’ during Dec. 2019 interview of Joe Biden with CNBC is a result of lighting, not evidence of Biden being a ‘deep fake’.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work     here .