Fact Check: Hunter Biden Was NOT arrested for possession of Child Porn

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Hunter Biden Was NOT arrested for possession of Child Porn Junk News

Was Hunter Biden arrested for possession of child porn? No, that's not true: The claim provides none of the public documents that accompany an arrest and was made in a story from a fake news website published in Canada.

The story originated as an article (archived here) where it was published by Conservative Beaver on November 6, 2020, under the title "Hunter Biden arrested for possession of CHILD PORN". It opened:

WASHINGTON -- The legal trouble for Biden and his family is far from over, with fresh allegations of possession of child pornography filed against Hunter Biden.

Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, has been charged with possession of child pornography, according to court documents recently unsealed.

Hunter was arrested on Monday after he landed at Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to a sealed Justice Department news release. The child pornography charges were unsealed after his arrest.

The hyperlinked words 'child pornography charges' lead not to court documents but to a tweet which may be the only clue that this article is not serious. The tweet (archived here) just says, "I had a weird dream that Robert Hunter Biden was arrested on Child Porn Charges last night !"

Hunter01.JPGHunter Biden was not arrested on Monday (that would be November 2, 2020), and there has been no "sealed Justice Department news release" about any recently unsealed court documents pertaining to child pornography. Hunter Biden was seen in public with his family in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020. Hunter appeared with his wife Melissa and their 7-month-old son on the outdoor stage of the Chase Center to celebrate with his family and watch the fireworks show after the addresses of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect-Kamala Harris.

The website Conservative Beaver is less than two months old and was registered on September 19, 2020. The "About" section of the website says, "Owned and operated by Zayden Thornton, based out of Montreal, Canada." The Dibiz page link for Zayden Thornton of Conservative Beaver (archived here) shows a profile picture that appears to be a StyleGAN computer-generated face.

hunter02.JPG

Screenshot of the StyleGAN profile picture of Zayden Thornton on Dibiz

The image file posted to Dibiz is 800x800 pixel square. The square format is one of the most telling signs of a StyleGAN image. For example, Thispersondoesnotexist.com creates 1024x1024 pixel images. A computer generated blend of 5000 StyleGAN faces was posted to Twitter by @conspirator0 (shown below in the upper right corner) StyleGAN images anchor the eyes in the same position of the square. The lower blended image is Zayden's face layered as a transparency over the original composite. The image of Zayden lines up with the blended face example. Other small tells of the StyleGAN face are the asymetrical size of the front teeth, the blobby anatomy of the right ear, the unnatural "stretch mark" patterning on the upper lip, and the "tree root" branching of the hair of the bangs. More recent StyleGAN images have improved natural outdoor backgrounds, but the flaws of the landscape are hidden by (faux) depth of field effects.

ZaydenStylegan.jpg

Further analysis of the Conservative Beaver website reveals that it has the same Google Adsense code as another website which quickly earned a reputation for fake news, TorontoToday.net.

Lead Stories debunked these TorontoToday.net stories late in the summer of 2020.

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Lead Stories took a look at StyleGAN images in this analysis article:

Fake Faces: People Who Do Not Exist Invade Facebook To Influence 2020 Elections (Part 1)

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern 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.


 

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