Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show People Chanting 'Fk (Fuck) Joe Biden' in Maui -- It Was Digitally Altered

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show People Chanting 'Fk (Fuck) Joe Biden' in Maui -- It Was Digitally Altered Edited

Did the "entire population" of Hawaii chant "Fk (Fuck) Joe Biden" during the president's visit to Maui on August 21, 2023? No, that's not true: A short clip on social media did not show any supposed protesters, and footage of the same event, captured by two news outlets independent of one another, established that nobody was chanting anything during this particular part of Biden's visit, indicating that the original audio was replaced by an unrelated track.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on X, formerly known as Twitter, on August 21, 2023. It opened:

Sleepy Joe landed in #Hawaii The entire population there are shouting - "Fk Joe Biden" 😂 😂 #MauiFires

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

Screen Shot 2023-08-28 at 10.06.42 AM.png

Twitter screenshot

(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Aug 28 14:06:42 2023 UTC)

The post contained a 14-second clip showing the president and the first lady walking through a fire-damaged area in Maui. The video was taken in one long shot, and no crowd purportedly expressing disapproval of the authorities was seen in the frame -- only audio implied that some people not in camera view chanted "Fuck Joe Biden."

A reverse image search shows that the longer version of the clip was published by media outlets including The Washington Post. That video was published on YouTube on August 21, 2023. At the 1:24 mark, it captures the exact same scene as what appeared in the post on X:

Screen Shot 2023-08-28 at 10.37.07 AM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Mon Aug 29 14:37:07 2023 UTC)

But no chanting is heard in the background in The Washington Post video.

The footage of the same event published by C-Span was shot from a slightly different angle. It also shows that no mass rally was taking place anywhere close to the site during the president's visit. Besides the people accompanying Biden, first responders, military and local authorities, the only other small group of people present on location consisted predominantly of journalists equipped with recording gear, as seen, for example, at the 06:35 mark.

Contrary to what appeared in the video posted on X, background noise was virtually absent during the entirety of what was filmed by C-Span. It was so quiet that audiences could even hear bits of the exchange between the president and first responders through the sound of the wind and the chirping of the birds.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about Maui can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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