Several images show President Obama engaged in a kiss and embrace with another man. Some readers have asked if these images is real or fake.
They’re not real.
The most popular “Obama kissing” image dates back to 2011 and was circulated on satirical websites at the time, including a “story” about President Obama and UK Prime Minster David Cameron engaged in a kiss. Some have mistakenly claimed the other man in the photo is former Vice President Al Gore.
The fake image (below) has circulated on social media with a caption that reads: “REPOST: Obama wants it off the internet!”
The photo has seen increased sharing on several occasions since 2011, including a surge in April 2013 and another in July 2014. A common caption reads, “Well if Obama wants this off the Internet then of course I am just going to post it even more! Make sure you share this too”
The real photo is of President Obama kissing his wife Michelle, as seen below:
Fake Obama Chavez Kiss Photo
In late 2011, Italian clothing company Benetton used a fake photo of President Obama kissing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as part of an advertising campaign. Another variation of the ad featured a fake photo of President Obama kissing Chinese President Hu Jintao. The White House expressed disapproval over the photos. According to Reuters, Benetton stopped using the pictures after the Vatican protested and began a process of litigation to prevent the images from spreading.
Other Fake Kissing Photos
In the last several years, there have been several other viral Photoshopped images of male celebrities kissing other men. Justin Bieber has been the victim of several such hoaxes. For example, in early April of 2014, satirical website Huzlers circulated a fake photo of Justin Bieber kissing another man. Following the release of a faked photo of R&B singer Trey Songz kissing another man, Huzlers released a fake article claiming that Songz had come out as homosexual in March of 2014.
As you can seen from the search history below, interest in the various “Obama kissing” photos has had several peaks over the past several years.
The photo of President Obama engaged in a kiss with another man is fake. It has been circulating since about 2011.
Updated May 12, 2016
Originally published July 2014