Fact Check: Snopes Did NOT Fact Check A Claim That Photo Showed Hunter Biden Asleep With A Crack Pipe By Concluding It Was A Meth Pipe

Fact Check

  • by: Hallie Golden

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Snopes Did NOT Fact Check A Claim That Photo Showed Hunter Biden Asleep With A Crack Pipe By Concluding It Was A Meth Pipe Fake-Checked

Did the fact-checking website Snopes publish a fact-check declaring a photo of Hunter Biden asleep with a meth pipe is real? No, that's not true: Snopes never published a fact check about the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sleeping with a crack pipe. The faked fact-check appeared to be a dig at fact-checkers, suggesting Snopes would find the crack pipe claim false because it was actually a meth pipe. The image in question was published on October 14, 2020, by the New York Post and was purportedly found on Biden's abandoned laptop.

The claim appeared as a meme in a post (archived here) on Facebook on October 15, 2020. It included:

There are no photos of Hunter Biden asleep with a crack pipe. There is however a photo of him asleep with a meth pipe and that picture is real..

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Oct 16 18:28:45 2020 UTC)

This is another version of the meme shared on Facebook:

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 9.44.31 AM.png

The New York Post published the image of Hunter Biden asleep with a glass pipe in his mouth. His struggle with drug addiction has been widely publicized, including through interviews with Hunter and his father.

Lead Stories emailed Snopes October 16, 2020 to check the authenticity of the claim about Snopes. Founder and Executive Editor David Mikkelson wrote back almost immediately to say that Snopes did not publish a fact check titled "Are the photos of Hunter Biden smoking crack real?" and has never published a piece stating that a photo of Hunter Biden asleep with a meth pipe is real.

The meme is formatted and structured similarly to Snopes' fact checks, leading with the question, "Are the photos of Hunter Biden smoking crack real?" and then following up with the claim, "It is claimed that the above photo is of Hunter Biden, asleep with a crack pipe." It even includes the Snopes' logo and the design Snopes uses for a false rating. But Lead Stories conducted a search of Snopes.com and found no instance of this post anywhere on its website. Similarly, a Google search turned up no instance of this purported fact check.

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 10.04.35 AM.png

The fake Snopes meme on Facebook is attributed to Dan Evon, who, although an author at Snopes.com, has only published one fact check on October 15, 2020, about Donald Trump posting the "Biden for Resident" meme to his Twitter page.

Updates:

  • 2020-10-16T23:14:34Z 2020-10-16T23:14:34Z
    Updated to correct typographic errors.

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  Hallie Golden

Hallie Golden is a fact checker at Lead Stories and a freelance journalist based in Seattle. Her articles have been published in such places as The Guardian, The New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab.  She previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Philadelphia, Pa

Read more about or contact Hallie Golden

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