Audio that purports to detail President Joe Biden privately discussing the dire state of the U.S. economy is circulating online, leading many conspiracy theorists to believe that the content is legitimate.
But the audio is clearly fake, despite attempts by many to pass it off as real.
In the clip, which appeared across social media this week, Biden is allegedly heard discussing issues stemming from recent bank failures as video of a tape recorder is seen playing.
“Biden on tape talking about not panicking when the collapse happens,” one user on TikTok wrote over the video. “I warned you guys a year ago.”
@daryllawsonlive Biden talking about all banks collapsing?? #Biden #banks #svb #collapse #digitalcurency #usdollar #daryllawsonlive #daryllawson ♬ original sound – DarylLawsonLive
The supposed Biden can be heard warning that “a collapse is imminent” and that “all the money is gone” before suggesting that the “full force of the media” be used to lull the public into a false sense of safety.
On TikTok, some users responded to the audio with skepticism while others accused Biden of “treason.”
“Why am I not surprised!” another wrote.
Similar clips that have migrated to Twitter have racked up tens of thousands of views, with the same claims about Biden’s secret speech.
The clip helps spread conspiratorial thinking online, with the fake Biden claiming he’d set out secret bank channels for institutions to use as a way to try and limit backlash against the government.
The clip also migrated to conspiratorial blogs.
Yet experts have noted that the audio is an obvious fake. The clip, which features irregular speech patterns and signs of manipulation, is believed to have been created with an AI voice generator.
Hafiz Malik, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, told the Associated Press that audio lacks background noise and is at an unnatural pitch.
“It is not matching with like a natural produced audio at all,” Malik said.
Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, also noted that “the cadence of the speech is highly regular, consistent with synthetically-generated speech and atypical of natural speech.”
White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa confirmed to the Associated Press that the audio was “inauthentic.”
The fake audio comes in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s rapid collapse—which makes people online understandably worried about the state of the economy and their money—the perfect condition for a fake clip to go viral.