Fact Check

Malia Obama Selfie Leaked

Rumor: A leaked Malia Obama selfie was obtained by a hip-hop group and posted to Instagram.

Published Jan 8, 2015


Claim:   A leaked Malia Obama selfie was obtained by a hip-hop group and posted to Instagram.


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

Did Obama's daughter Malia sport t-shirt for Marxist/Anti-White
rap music "collective"?


Origins:   On 5 January 2015, a purported selfie taken by President Obama's 16-year-old daughter Malia was posted to the Instagram account proera47 along with the following comment:

Malia Obama rocking that classic Pro Era tee! Make sure you get your official Pro Era gear from theproera.com!

The Instagram account in question belonged to Brooklyn-based rap music collective Pro Era. When pressed for details on how the group came into possession of the image, a representative for Pro Era member Joey Bada$$ stated the photo was obtained by a "mutual friend" of Malia Obama and the rapper.

The Obama girls have notably remained absent from social media sites, which suggests either a familial agreement to abstain from social media during the Obama presidency or careful monitoring from within the confines of the White House to ensure personal details about Malia and Sasha Obama do not leak out through channels such as Instagram and Facebook. In 2011, Michelle Obama explained the girls' access to social media was heavily restricted, hinting such restrictions transcended mere parental discretion and expressing relief the matter was presumably out of the family's hands:

I think we're lucky that there are a lot of real constraints, things like Secret Service and stuff like that. I'm not a big fan of young kids having Facebook. It's not something they need, it's not necessary right now.

In the intervening years, a scant few organic moments involving the Obama girls have emerged on similar sites:

The White House has yet to address the rumors or confirm the image as genuine, but the photograph has not been removed. While the individual depicted certainly resembles Malia Obama, and it's possible the teen circumvented parental social media controls to enable the release of the image, currently no definitive evidence has emerged proving the image's authenticity. Several news outlets stated the White House was investigating the selfie leak, but that statement appeared to be similarly unsubstantiated.

Last updated:   20 June 2015


    Condon, Stephanie.   "Michelle Obama: Sasha and Malia Not on Facebook."

    CBSNews.   9 February 2011.

    Hathaway, Jay.   "White House Investigating How Rappers Got Malia's Selfie."

    Gawker.   8 January 2015.

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

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