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- Barack Obama and George Clooney among others, including their wives and Obama’s daughter, were aboard the boat when this photo was taken and are visible in other shots from this day.
- The angle of the image being shared on Facebook shows what looks like a child photographed with Obama and Clooney but the suggestion that something abusive is happening is unfounded, and improbable with so many people feet away from them.
An old photo of former President Barack Obama, the actor George Clooney, and another person on a boat is being presented on Facebook without context, making it subject to intense speculation of some social media users who think something sinister is happening.
"What was going on then?" one person wrote in an image that’s being shared on Facebook. "Why does it look like Clooney is zipping his pants back up? Why does #Obama look stunned? Who is that very young girl? Let’s RT widely and find out the truth! #pedopredators #EpsteinsBlackBook."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
But the photo doesn’t capture Obama and Clooney at the scene of a crime, along with a young girl. Contrary to the caption, Clooney appears to be briefly touching his stomach, not zipping up his pants.
Rather, it shows the men and someone else — we don’t know who — on a boat on Lake Como in Italy with several other people, including Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Malia Obama, and other unidentified guests in 2019.
In photos published by the Daily Mail, different angles of the scene reveal that there are other people nearby but not in view in the image being shared on Facebook.
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, June 1, 2020
Daily Mail, The Obamas join the Clooneys aboard a boat on Lake Como as the former first family attend a glamorous event hosted by the Hollywood star’s charity near his multi-million dollar Italian mansion, June 24, 2019
USA Today, Barack Obama and George Clooney take a boat ride on Lake Como, June 24, 2019
Today, Vacation buddies? See George Clooney and Barack Obama together in Italy, June 24, 2020
The Washington Post, He’s on a boat: Obama hangs out with George Clooney in Italy, June 24, 2019
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