A video spreading online appears to show Taylor Swift holding a banner at the 66th annual Grammy Awards that falsely claims former US president Donald Trump won the 2020 election. But the footage is doctored; the original clip from entertainment magazine Variety depicts the pop star wearing black gloves and holding no such sign.
"AWWW... THANK YOU!!!" says a February 4, 2024 post on X, formerly Twitter, from an account called "il Donaldo Trumpo."
Swift, whose star reached unprecedented heights in 2023 with the highest-grossing music tour in history and Time magazine's Person of the Year honor, captured a fourth Grammy during the February 4 ceremony for Album of the Year -- the most by any artist. The 34-year-old also announced a new body of work is on the way.
Experts say Swift's sky-high approval ratings and sway over her fans could make her support valuable in the 2024 US presidential election, in which Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican Party's nomination. That influence has made her a target for political misinformation online, even though Swift has not yet endorsed a candidate.
— Variety (@Variety) February 5, 2024
The unedited video from the Los Angeles event shows Swift posing for cameras in a strapless white Schiaparelli gown, a watch choker and several silver necklaces.
While the doctored clip depicts Swift holding the sign with her bare hands, Variety's footage shows she wore black opera gloves.
AFP photos from the night show Swift's outfit -- with no pro-Trump message in sight.
Targeted by disinformation
Swift's global star power and blossoming romance with American football star Travis Kelce have drawn the ire of right-wing conspiracy theorists who claim the relationship is a plot to rig the Super Bowl and build momentum for Biden ahead of the 2024 election.
The famously tight-lipped Swift remained quiet during Trump's 2016 campaign, but she later criticized him and endorsed Biden in 2020.
More recently, she spoke against the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion rights. She also urged concertgoers to research which politicians support LGBTQ communities and to vote against legislation that is "harmful" to them.
AFP has fact-checked other misinformation about US politics here.