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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 3, 2021

No, this photo doesn’t show the White House dark after Biden was sworn in

If Your Time is short

  • This is an old, doctored photo.

Ten days after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, an image started to spread on Facebook suggesting that the commander-in-chief was MIA. 

"10th night in a row no body home," reads the description on an image showing a dark White House, nary a lamp shining in the windows.

But this is an old photo, and it’s been misused before. 

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.)

A reverse image search pulls up a couple of versions of the picture. 

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One shows what looks like the original image of the White House taken at night in 2014. While some of the windows are indeed dark, one is not, and outdoor lights illuminate the exterior of the building. 

A second one shows the doctored version of this photo — the one that appears in the posts now circulating on social media — only it accompanied a 2017 post on a self-described "spoof news and satire" website. 

The fake news story said that then-President Donald Trump had turned off the White House lights "to fool FBI agents into thinking no one was home."

"Obviously the purpose of our Photoshop wasn’t to mislead, but to complement a joke we were making," the managing editor of the website told BBC News last year as it was shared in connection with reports that Trump had sheltered in an underground White House bunker amid protests over George Floyd’s death. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


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No, this photo doesn’t show the White House dark after Biden was sworn in

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