Fact Check

Is This Really How the Muslim World Reacted to Obama's Speech?

Rumor: A video shows how the Muslim world reacted to President Obama's speech about the dangers of climate change.

Published May 26, 2015

Claim:   A video shows how the Muslim world reacted to President Obama's speech about the dangers of climate change.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2015]

There is a Facebook video that claims the muslem world is reacting to the Presidents speech on Climate Change. It shows leaders of the muslem world speaking in a language that is not English and has subtitles of what they are saying. The subtitles have very unflattering remarks about the President.


Origins: On 20 May 2015, the YouTube channel iPhone Conservative uploaded a video that combined portions of President Obama's commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a subtitled segment taken from an unidentified foreign talk show:

The description of the video did not note that the foreign language portion of the video was deliberately subtitled incorrectly for humorous effect, although it did reference Poe's Law:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.

Unsurprisingly, many people were fooled by the video and believed it actually showed the "Muslim world's reaction" to President Obama's statement that climate change poses a serious threat to the United States.

On 22 May 2015, iPhone Conservative added a comment underneath the YouTube video to clarify that the subtitles did not provide an accurate translation of what they were attached to:

Folks, this a spoof. It was never intended to be taken as a legitimate news report. Obviously two things are at play here. One, I did the job too well. Two, we have come to the stage in the Obama presidency where quite literally anything is possible.

Last updated:   26 May 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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