Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero October 17, 2023

Biden did not announce a military draft. This video is AI-generated.

If Your Time is short

  • This video of President Joe Biden announcing that he is invoking the Selective Service Act for a military draft was generated by artificial intelligence. It was first uploaded in February.

Amid the Israel-Hamas war, social media users are stoking fears that U.S. citizens will soon be drafted. One video appears to show President Joe Biden himself calling American men and women to fight.

In an Oct. 15 Facebook video, Biden appears to say, "Invoke the Selective Service Act, as is my authority as President. Remember, you’re not sending your sons and daughters to war. You’re sending them to freedom."

The video then cuts to a man who comments, "My children, my daughter, will not be participating in your f------ greedy wars."

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

This is not a real announcement, as it’s not a real video of Biden. It was generated by artificial intelligence.

@politifact Replying to @mullige President Joe Biden isn’t invoking the Selective Service Act for a military draft. This video was made with AI and first posted in February. #biden #military #draft #ai #factcheck #fyp #learnontiktok ♬ Campfire - Charmer & Klay

The original video in full was posted Feb. 27 by the conservative Canadian publication The Post Millennial. Its caption read, "AI imagines what would happen if Biden declares and activates the Selective Service Act and begins drafting 20 years old to war."

The video made it appear as if Biden was talking about how Russia’s war in Ukraine and "China’s blockade of Taiwan" have created a "two-front national security crisis that requires more troops than the voluntary military can supply." China has performed military exercises to signal its ability to blockade Taiwan should it try to seize control of the island. 

Featured Fact-check

The video made Biden appear to say men and women who turn 20 years old in 2023 will be first to enter a national lottery.

It then shifts to commentary by Jack Posobiec, a conservative pundit affiliated with Turning Point USA: "That was an AI, I don’t wanna say recreation but maybe a pre-creation, a pre-creation of President Biden designed and scripted by our producers here for the show of what could happen if President Biden were to declare and activate the Selective Service Act and begin drafting 20-year-olds here in the United States."

The U.S. has not had a military draft since 1973, for the Vietnam War. Former President Jimmy Carter reinstated the Selective Service registration requirement in 1980 in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Registration allows the government to keep a list of names of men to draw from in case of a national emergency. 

A draft would require congressional and presidential authorization. According to The Associated Press, defense officials confirmed as of Oct. 10 that the armed forces have not recommended the reinstatement of the draft to either Congress or the president.

The Military Selective Service Act authorizes only the registration of "male persons." Congress would have to amend the current law to authorize the registration of women.

The video does not show Biden saying he is invoking the Selective Service Act. We rate that claim False.  

RELATED: Politicians blame 'wokeism' for low military recruitment. The problem is more complex.

Our Sources

Facebook post (archived), Oct. 15, 2023

Tweet by The Post Millennial, Feb. 27, 2023

The New York Times, How China could choke Taiwan, Aug. 25, 2022

Selective Service System, Frequently Asked Questions, accessed Oct. 17, 2023

Selective Service System, Why is Selective Service important?, accessed Oct. 17, 2023

USAGov, Register for Selective Service (the draft), accessed Oct. 17, 2023

The Associated Press, The US isn’t planning to order young men to enlist in the military, despite claims made online, Oct. 10, 2023

Britannica, Selective Service Acts, accessed Oct. 17, 2023

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Loreben Tuquero

Biden did not announce a military draft. This video is AI-generated.

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up