Attempts on social media to make President Joe Biden appear feeble or confused are not uncommon. We’ve debunked numerous such claims with videos that were deceptively edited or taken out of context.
A new claim, using an old fake image that was making the rounds on TikTok back in October according to Snopes fact-checkers, is being shared again on Instagram to make it seem like Biden put his pants on backwards and proceeded to go out in public.
“Joe Biden puts his pants on backwards,” read a Feb. 10 Instagram post. It showed an image of Biden under the words, “C’mon man!”
Words below the image point to parts of the photo that allege to show Biden’s pants having no fly in the front, a belt loop where the buckle should be and a backwards pocket.
This post was flagged as part of Instagram’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Having previously rejected a claim that purported to show President Donald Trump also wearing his pants backwards — we were suspicious.
Using a reverse image search, we found a similar photo of Biden in an article about his visit to Puerto Rico on the website El Pais. The president and first lady Jill Biden were visiting the island Oct. 3, 2022, two weeks after it was struck by Hurricane Fiona.
The image on El Pais was taken by Reuters photographer Evelyn Hockstein. It shows Biden walking with his wife, who is wearing the same dress seen in the Instagram post, and Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who is also wearing the same clothes in both photos.
Biden, too, is wearing the same light blue shirt and beige khakis in the Reuters photo as in the Instagram post. However, his belt buckle, belt loops, pockets and zipper are all in the appropriate places.
Other photos of Biden’s trip to Puerto Rico, including some taken by the Associated Press and shared on the White House Twitter account also showed the president was wearing his pants correctly that day, which, if you thought this was real, should be a relief.
The photo in the Instagram post claiming Biden wore his pants backwards is clearly a fake. We rate this claim Pants (worn correctly) on Fire!