Fact Check: This Is NOT An Original Photo Of Barack and Michelle Obama

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: This Is NOT An Original Photo Of Barack and Michelle Obama Warped Photo

Is this a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama as a young couple? Not really. The original photo of the Obamas has been manipulated, intentionally distorting the features of Michelle Obama to make her appear masculine.

The manipulated image appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published on October 10, 2020, under the title "Barry & Michael back in the day...".

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

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Oct 12 18:37:05 2020 UTC)

Obama shared an adorable throwback picture to celebrate Michelle's 55th birthday

I knew it way back then and I'm absolutely convinced of it today -- you're one of a kind, @MichelleObama. Happy Birthday!

The manipulated picture first appeared in reverse image search results on October 10, 2020. The manipulated picture has color adjusted to a higher saturation, changing the skin tones orange. A distortion effect has been applied to Michelle Obama's face and neck. This photo-editing distortion tool not only changed the features of her face but also slightly warped aspects of the surrounding area.


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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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