Related topics

Photo manipulated to make Bill Clinton appear ill

April 22, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows former President Bill Clinton looking frail and sick, showing “what happens when you sell your soul.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Altered photo. The photo was edited to make Clinton look ill. The former president’s skin was far less red and his eyes more blue in the original photo taken in 2014.

THE FACTS: A Facebook post shared thousands of times this week compares an official White House photo of Clinton in 1993 to a more recent photo that has been edited to make the skin around his eyes red and his irises brown.

“This is what happens when you sell your soul,” text on the post reads. Commenters on the post likened the 74-year-old former president to “Satan” and speculated that he had been using drugs.

A reverse-image search reveals the photo in which Clinton looks ill is not genuine. It’s an edited version of a 2014 photo that appears on Getty Images, taken by photographer John Lamparski. Clinton was photographed at a Christmas benefit event in New York, according to the original photo’s caption.

In the original photo, Clinton’s eyes are bright blue and the skin under his eyes is not red.

Internet users have previously edited this image of Clinton to make him look like he is suffering from a debilitating disease. The manipulated images have circulated so often that the online meme dictionary Know Your Meme identifies it as a common “photoshop meme” that it dubs “AIDS Bill Clinton” or “Terminally Bill.”


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: