Facebook and Twitter are refusing to bow to requests from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nix an edited video of the California Democrat tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.
The edited video was posted on both social media platforms after the Tuesday night SOTU in which Pelosi can be seen ripping a copy of the speech. The video is spliced together to make it appear that Pelosi ripped the speech after Trump highlighted each individual’s story.
Trump tweeted the edited version Thursday. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, criticized Facebook Friday, suggesting the version Trump tweeted mischaracterizes what transpired during the speech.
Pelosi’s gesture, reportedly done out of exasperation, came at the tail end of the president’s speech, which Democrats said contained misinformation and lies. She was responding to the totality of Trump’s comments, Hammill noted in a series of tweets blasting the company.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2020
“The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests,” Hammill wrote.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone tried to explain why the edited version does not violate company’s policies. “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?” he said in a tweet replying to Hammill’s complaint.
Stone linked to Facebook’s policy rules regarding manipulated media. Such content cannot be removed because it does not contain manipulated material or visuals, Stone added. He confirmed to CNBC that the video “doesn’t violate our policies.”
Hammill responded: “What planet are you living on? This is deceptively altered. Take it down.” (RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Tears Up Speech Copy As Soon As Trump Concludes State Of The Union)
Twitter is also refusing to remove the video under its current policies, according to CNBC. The video has received 2.1 million views, reached almost 5 million people and was shared more than 23,000 times as of Friday night, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told CNBC.
This is not the first time Pelosi and Facebook have wrestled over what the House speaker believes is manipulated video meant to make her look bad. She and liberal pundits pounced on the company in 2019 when the tech giant refused to nix a doctored video clip of the lawmaker.
The video artificially slowed Pelosi’s speech and mannerisms. It was identified as a fake, but not before it had been shared across multiple platforms. Facebook determined at the time that providing customers with accurate information is more important than removing the video entirely.
Pelosi has since become more antagonistic to Facebook, telling reporters at a press conference in January that Facebook curried favor with Trump to avoid regulatory scrutiny. “All they want are their tax cuts and no antitrust action against them,” she said at the conference when asked if she worries about Facebook’s motives ahead of the 2020 election.
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