The video in question is an AI-generated deepfake.
A Feb. 27, 2023, video of U.S. President Joe Biden purportedly shows him announcing a new national draft, in which 20-year-olds would be conscripted into military service on account of a growing national security crisis.
The video was shared on Twitter by Jack Posobiec, a far-right commentator, and he appeared to quote Biden: ""The recommended way forward will be to invoke the Selective Service Act, as is my authority as president"[...] "The first to be called ... will be men and women whose 20th birthday falls during calendar year 2023" [...] A sneak preview of things to come."
The video was also shared by @ThePatriotOasis, a Twitter account that describes itself as "Constitutional conservatives," which wrote, "BREAKING: Biden calls for a national draft. Men and women are to be selected to fight in Ukriane [sic]."
In the video, Biden allegedly says:
The illegal Russian offensive has been swift, callous and brutal. It's barbaric. Putin's illegal occupation of Kyiv, and the impending Chinese blockade of Taiwan has created a two-front national security crisis that requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply. I have received guidance from General Milly, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that the recommended way forward will be to invoke the Selective Service Act, as is my authority as president. The first to be called in a sequence determined by national lottery will be men and women whose twentieth birthday falls during calendar year 2023. Remember you are not sending your sons and daughters to war, you're sending them to freedom. God bless our troops and god bless Ukraine.
This video of Biden is fake, a result of an artificial intelligence generated deepfake. We have written about this phenomenon before:
The term "deepfake" refers to an image or video that was created with the aid of artificial intelligence (AI). GANs (generative adversarial networks, a form of AI) can learn various characteristics of a person in order to synthesize an artificial version. By using this technology, you can create a video that appears to show a person (say, Tom Cruise) performing a stunt (or other action) even though they never did any such thing. This technology can also be used to fabricate an entirely fictional person.
This video carries some of the telltale signs of a deepfake, based on our guide that helps one spot them. Watching the video, we noticed that Biden stands very still, and only his mouth moves:
In many cases, a deepfake will be used to make it seem as if a person said something that they never said. In order to do this, creators will take existing footage of a person talking, swap out the audio, then manipulate the appearance of the person's mouth in an attempt to make the movements match the new fabricated script.
Posobiec appeared to have taken the video from @TPostMillenial, which acknowledges, "AI imagines what would happen if Biden declares and activates the Selective Service Act and begins drafting 20 years old to war."
Right after the clip of Biden, Posobiec appears in the clip and admits that the video is fabricated. He says, "That was an AI…I don't want to say recreation but maybe a precreation [...] of President Biden, designed and scripted by our producers here for the show of what could happen if [Biden] were to declare and activate the Selective Service Act and begin drafting 20-year-olds here in the United States.
"Do you understand the gravity of what we are talking about?" he continues. "Currently the U.S. doesn't have troops on the ground [in Ukraine]." He goes on to express worries about the extension of U.S. aid and weapons becoming American boots on the ground.
Of course, Biden has not called for a national draft. If this were the case, it would be front page news. Posobiec, while acknowledging it as a deepfake in the video, does not state this in the tweet, resulting in misleading additional tweets claiming to quote Biden directly. As such, we rate this claim as "Miscaptioned."