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After Malviya, Twitter Flags Agnihotri’s Tweet for Misinformation

Agnihotri had posed a video, in which US President-elect Joe Biden was falsely shown as being asleep on live TV.

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WebQoof
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Agnihotri had posed a video, in which US President-elect Joe Biden was falsely shown as being asleep on live TV.
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Days after it flagged a misleading tweet shared by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya, Twitter has now labelled a video post shared by filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri in which US President-elect Joe Biden can be seen sleeping on screen, as ‘Manipulated Media’ or content that is misleading in nature.

But what exactly is the issue with Agnihotri’s tweet and why is it misleading in nature? Here’s an explanation of what happened from the moment The Tashkent Files Director shared the post on Twitter.

After Malviya, Twitter Flags Agnihotri’s Tweet for Misinformation

Suggesting that Biden had fallen asleep on TV, Agnihotri had tweeted that “Joe Biden needs to appear on Indian News debates. He will stay awake for the rest of his life.”

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Which video did Agnihotri tweet?

On 31 August 2020, almost two months ahead of the US Presidential polls, Agnihotri posted a video clip (now deleted) which begins with a news anchor saying “joining us live this morning from New York, Hey Good morning!”

While Agnihotri has now deleted the post, the same video has been doing the rounds on social media for a long time. Here’s a look at the misleading video posted by a Facebook user.

Following a swipe effect, the screen then breaks into a two window, in one of which Biden is seen looking down, with his eyes shut, as snoring sounds fill the void.

The anchor then blinks, says “wake-up”, then pauses again and says “wake-up, wakeup!” Following one more pause, the anchor says “This is your wake up call, Harry,"

Puzzled, the anchor moves on and says “he’s like taking a little nap.”

Is this video real?

No, definitely not. In fact, the video has been doctored or edited at different levels by combining two completely different clips, none in which President-elect Joe Biden was napping on live television, reports news agency Reuters.

The anchor in question is Leyla Santiago and the clip is of KBAK, a local TV station from October 2011. 

While the anchor did say the lines mentioned in the video and while her guest did appear to be fast asleep on live television, it certainly was not Joe Biden who was on screen in real.

As seen in the original video above, the person being interviewed was actor and singer Harry Belafonte, and not Joe Biden.

Not only did the person who doctored this video replace the text on screen to make it seem like it was a Biden interview, but also plastered a different video of Joe Biden over Belafonte.

In the original video, Leyla Santiago says “Joining us live this morning from New York, hey good morning Harry.” However, the video which Agnihotri had posted had cut the video at “good morning” and edited the word “Harry” out.

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Where did Joe Biden’s clip come from? Was he sleeping in that video?

The video of Joe Biden that was edited and plastered on Harry Belafonte is actually from April 2020, when Biden was a presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee and had only won the nomination of Hillary Clinton.

While Biden was not asleep in the video, a clip of him looking down while Clinton was speaking was conveniently edited out and plastered onto Harry Belafonte’s face to give the impression that the now President-elect was caught napping on TV.

So clearly, the video posted by Agnihotri and others before him is misleading and had been doctored to provide a false impression of Biden.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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