Facts are under assault in 2020.
We can't fight back misinformation about the election and COVID-19 without you. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
- Joe Biden’s eyes were blue during the presidential debate, not black.
- The first version of a smart contact lens being developed by a startup called Mojo Vision won’t be ready for two to three years, the company said in January.
We’ve already debunked allegations that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was wearing a wire during the first presidential debate and that he has a medical implant that lets him hear an aide tell him how to answer questions. A new entry in this category of misinformation claims that the former vice president’s eyes were black during the debate because he was wearing smart contact lenses.
"Well the Biden black eyes issue is solved," reads one Facebook post. "Mojo Vision! Essentially a screen right into the eyeballs via contacts…. Joe usually has blue eyes….this is why they are black at the debate and prior conferences, they did a tester."
The post includes images comparing photos of Biden’s eyes — in one they’re blue, in the other they look brown.
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.)
We reached out to both the Biden campaign but did not receive a response.
First of all, Biden’s eyes weren’t black during the debate. You can see for yourself in this video of key moments from the event here.
Second, the "Mojo Lens" — the smart contact lens that a startup company called Mojo Vision is developing — is not yet on the market.
"The lens has not been tested and certified for public use and therefore cannot be worn without being enrolled in Mojo’s clinical trial, which is managed in a controlled environment," a spokesperson for the company told us. "Mojo Lens has not been worn by anyone for any purpose outside of the Mojo team, nor do we have any plans in the near future for anyone to wear the product besides a Mojo team member or a participant in a clinical trial."
Because the contact lenses will be classified as medical devices, they need certification from the Food and Drug Administration before they can be marketed, sold and used by the public, the spokesperson said.
In January, Fast Company reported that "using a display the size of a grain of sand to project images onto your retina," Mojo Vision could one day help firefighters navigate smoky rooms or allow hotel concierges to identify and greet new gusts "based on data called up from a database and displayed within the lenses."
However, the first version of the lens "will most likely be a base model containing a core set of features for people with vision impairments," according to Fast Company. More importantly for this fact check: the Mojo Vision said they wouldn’t be ready for two to three years.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.
Facebook post, Sept. 30, 2020
The New York Times, Watch 4 key moments from Biden at the first 2020 debate, Sept. 30, 2020
Fast Company, The making of Mojo, AR contact lenses that give your eyes superpowers, Jan. 16, 2020
TechCrunch, Smart contact lens startup Mojo Vision raises $51M, April 29, 2020
Statement from Mojo Vision, Oct. 1, 2020
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.