Altered Video of President Biden


FEB 5, 2024


Today, the Oversight Board selected a case appealed by a Facebook user regarding an altered video of President Biden which appears to show him inappropriately touching a young woman’s chest and kissing her on the cheek. We determined this video was edited in superficial ways to remove certain portions, but not with AI or synthetic methods. The altered video is accompanied by a caption calling President Biden a “sick pedophile.” The original version of the video shows President Biden placed an “I Voted” sticker on his granddaughter’s shirt after she indicated where to place it and then kissed her on the cheek. While this is not, by definition, a deepfake — which is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning, including deep learning techniques, that merges, combines, replaces, and/or superimposes content onto a video, creating a video that appears authentic — reviews of the video concluded that the video was edited to remove context and distort what really happened.

Meta determined that the content did not violate our policies on Hate Speech, Bullying and Harassment, or Manipulated Media, as laid out in our Facebook Community Standards, and left the content up.

Under our Hate Speech policy, Meta removes any content that targets someone with “comparison, generalizations, or unqualified behavioral statements” about being a “sexual predator,” but only when the content specifically targets someone on the basis of a “protected characteristic.” We define a protected characteristic as “race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, or serious disease.” However, in this case, the content did not violate this policy because the content did not attack or target President Biden on the basis of a protected characteristic.

Under our Bullying and Harassment policy, we allow criminal allegations against all adults, even if they contain expressions of contempt or disgust. In this case, the reference to President Biden as a “sick pedophile” is considered an expression of contempt in the context of a criminal allegation against an adult.

Under our Manipulated Media policy, we remove videos if specific criteria are met, including if the video has been edited or synthesized, beyond adjustments for clarity or quality, in ways that are not apparent to an average person, and would likely mislead an average person to believe a subject of the video said words that they did not say. In this case, the video does not depict President Biden saying something he did not say and the video is not the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning in a way that merges, combines, replaces, or superimposes content onto the video (the video was merely edited to remove certain portions).

We will implement the board’s decision once it has finished deliberating, and will update this post accordingly. Please see the Board’s website for the decision when they issue it.

Case decision

We welcome the Oversight Board’s decision today, February 5, 2024, on this case. The board upheld Meta's decision to leave the content up.

After conducting a review of the recommendations provided by the board in addition to their decision, we will update this post.