A fake video that has gone viral on social media used manipulated footage to show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden sleeping during a live interview with a news station.
The video was fabricated using a television news clip from 2011.
In the original, an anchor with KBAK-TV in Bakersfield, California, attempted to interview the singer Harry Belafonte remotely, but when they cut to him his eyes were closed, and he did not respond.
After repeated attempts to reach him, the anchor laughed and said, “He’s meditating, He’s taking a little nap.”
In the 30-second altered video, Belafonte is replaced with video that appears to show Biden with his eyes closed and snoring sounds are added.
A chyron was added to the bottom of the screen to read “THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS ELECTION.”
The Biden clip was pulled from an April 2020 town hall in which Biden turns his gaze downward for about 15 seconds as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the effects of COVID-19 on women.
He then lifted his gaze. There were no snoring sounds.
The altered video racked up thousands of shares and hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A social media user identified as Damon Imani confirmed to The Associated Press that he created the altered video.
When asked on Twitter if the video was real, Imani replied “Technically yes.”
The video posted on his YouTube account amassed more than 121,000 views before it was taken down in response to a report by the copyright owner.
It was shared by public figures including Trump communications adviser Dan Scavino, whose Sunday tweet was labeled “manipulated media” by the social media site.
Belafonte’s publicist said at the time the performer was meditating before the interview and his earpiece malfunctioned.