Photo shows man in Poland giving Biden thumbs-up, not middle finger
CLAIM: A photo shows a man in Poland gesturing with both his middle fingers at President Joe Biden.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered photo. The original photo shows an audience member giving Biden a double thumbs-up on Tuesday following the president’s address at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw, Poland. Both Biden and the White House shared the photo showing the thumbs-up on their official Twitter accounts.
THE FACTS: A day after a surprise visit to Kyiv, Biden gave a strongly worded address on Tuesday in neighboring Poland and vowed that the United States and allies “will not waver” in supporting the Ukrainians as Russia’s invasion nears the one-year mark.
Following the visit, social media users began sharing an edited image, which makes it appear that an observer in the crowd gave Biden two middle fingers during his address. The altered image began circulating on Tuesday as a meme, and some versions contained the watermark of a Twitter handle that creates memes. However, other social media users appeared to believe the altered photo was real.
“A picture is worth a thousand words. This one tells you everything you need to know. Biden’s own people are showing him a middle finger,” reads a tweet that shared the altered image.
“Joe is hated all over the world,” reads another tweet that shared the altered image. The post received more than 1,300 retweets.
The original photo shows Biden waving to a crowd after his speech at the Royal Castle Gardens in Warsaw on Tuesday, while an audience member gives two thumbs-up.
Both Biden and the White House shared the photo on their official Twitter accounts on Tuesday. The Associated Press also captured a similar photo of the same man giving Biden two thumbs-up.
“Thank you, President Duda and to the people of Poland. Your generosity and willingness to open your hearts and homes to the people of Ukraine, it’s extraordinary,” Biden tweeted when sharing the photo.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.