Several Democratic lawmakers are demanding Facebook remove a video that was doctored to make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear drunk.
Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jerry Nadler of New York, and Adam Schiff of California are among a group of Democrats suggesting that the video represents a threat to democracy. Facebook labeled the video “partly false,” which allows the platform to greatly suppress the content’s distribution.
“If Facebook can’t defend against low-tech disinfo like this video, it’s clear they’re not ready for the threats that are coming our way in November. They need to do better. Now,” Schiff wrote in a tweet Tuesday. The video had more than 2 million views by Sunday, according to CNN’s report Monday on the video.
The doctored video, which began circulating Thursday, was from a press conference Pelosi gave in May in which she criticized President Donald Trump for making false accusations against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. Facebook independent fact-checker Lead Stories was responsible for the fact check.
“Absolutely ridiculous that Facebook is leaving up the altered video of @speakerpelosi.They are not up to the task of stopping disinformation. We have to do better,” Cicilline said on Twitter Monday after a CNN report fleshed out Facebook’s decision not to completely remove the video.
Absolutely ridiculous that Facebook is leaving up the altered video of @speakerpelosi. They are not up to the task of stopping disinformation. We have to do better.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) August 3, 2020
Nadler also called for Facebook to nix the video, telling his Twitter followers Monday that “it is not enough to just label this as fake. When lies and falsehoods are deliberately pushed, action is needed to stop them from spreading.” Nadler and Cicilline grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a July 29 hearing addressing the company’s supposed anticompetitive actions.
Having recognized the manipulative content in this video, @Facebook should take it down entirely. It is not enough to just label this as fake. When lies and falsehoods are deliberately pushed, action is needed to stop them from spreading. https://t.co/xAKYycMdnQ
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) August 3, 2020
Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan also pushed back against the social media platform for not nixing the video of Pelosi outright.
“Facebook must immediately take down this video and do better to combat disinformation on its platform. It’s dangerous to our democracy,” she wrote in a Monday tweet, suggesting that leaving the post up allows misinformation to spread. (RELATED: Facebook Fact Checks But Does Not Remove Another Video Manipulated To Make Pelosi Appear Drunk)
“Following an incident over a year ago with a previous video of Speaker Pelosi, we took a number of key steps, making it very clear to people on Facebook when a third-party fact-checker determines content to be false and updating our policy to make explicit the kind of manipulated media we will remove,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told CNN Monday.
Stone was referring to an 2019 incident where Pelosi pointed out a Facebook video that the House speaker believed was manipulated to make her look bad. That video was also identified as a fake, but not before it had been shared across multiple platforms.
Pelosi’s office has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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