#WTF: “Despacito” Outreach

A viral clip of presidential candidate Joe Biden playing the 2017 song “Despacito” at a political function has been appearing across social media platforms. Instead of queuing the song on the stage’s sound system, Biden pulled out his phone and played it into the microphone while bobbing his head. The awkward clip comes from a recent Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee, Fla. Biden reportedly attended the event to seek support from the Latinx community and unveil his plans to aid Puerto Rico.

This odd moment has drawn criticism from across the Internet. Naturally, many users have called out Biden for engaging in “cringey” pandering and being out of touch with Hispanic voters. Following the event, the hashtags #DespacitoJoe and #SlowJoe began to trend. It is important to note that the viral clip that is being spread does lack important context. Prior to playing the mega-hit, Biden was introduced by the song’s creator Luis Fonsi. Following the song, Biden praised Fonsi and co-creator Daddy Yankee. “I’ll tell you what, if I had the talent of any one of these people, I’d be elected president by acclamation,” claimed Biden.

The awkward event has continued to trend after President Trump shared a doctored version of the clip. Instead of playing “Despacito,” this dubbed clip has Biden playing the N.W.A song “F**k Tha Police.” Criticism of the dubbed video has been leveled at its creators. The meme originated from the pro-Trump meme page “The United Spot.” A self-proclaimed satire page, this group has received criticism for promoting conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and spreading misinformation about public figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci. The United Spot is listed as a creator on the meme page MemeWorld, which has drawn similar criticisms in the past. At the time of posting, Twitter flagged the doctored video as “manipulated media.”