Politics

Facebook, Twitter Deny Pelosis Request to Censor Edited Video of Her Ripping Trumps Speech

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requested that Facebook and Twitter take down a video that edited together moments from President Donald Trumps State of the Union address with clips of her tearing a copy of the speech apart. Both of the social media companies denied her request, citing different reasons.

The video, posted by Trumps official Twitter account, interspersed clips of Pelosi ripping the papers at the end of the speech with moments of emotion and standing ovations during the speech. “Powerful American stories ripped to shreds by Nancy Pelosi,” the text above the video reads.

The speakers argument appears to be that some people may get a false impression that she tore the papers in half repeatedly during the speech and not just once at its conclusion.

“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 publics interests,” Pelosis deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill wrote in a Feb. 7 tweet.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh responded, “If Nancy Pelosi fears images of her ripping up the speech, perhaps she shouldnt have ripped up the speech.”

Content Policy

Facebook said the video doesnt violate its policies regarding deceptive content because those only pertain to content that shows people saying or doing something they didnt, CNBC reported.

Twitters new rules against deceptive content are not yet in place and the company said the video doesnt violate its current rules.

On Feb. 4, Twitter announced new rules that, in part say:

“You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand the medias authenticity and to provide additional context.”

To determine what media are “synthetic or manipulated,” the company would check “whether the content has been substantially edited in a manner that fundamentally alters its composition, sequence, timing, or framing;” whether theres “any visual or auditory information (such as new video frames, overdubbed audio, or modified subtitles) that has been added or removed;” and “whether media depicting a real person has been fabricated or simulated.”

Twitter said it will start labeling such content on March 5, asking for “patience” as it “will make errors along the way.”

The company wouldnt speculate on whether the Pelosi video would be censored under the new rules.

Pelosis office didnt respond to requests for comment. Twitter and Facebook offered no comment beyond pointing The Epoch Times to their content policies and previous content policy announcements.

Increased Censorship

Social media companies have repeatedly tightened their content policies. A 2018 internal Google research document titled “The Good Censor” said that social media companies have over time moved away from honoring the principles of freedom of expression and moved toward censorship. Theyve moved themselves away from descriptors such as “neutral,” “aggregator,” and “platform,” to being better described by words such as “politicized,” “editor,” and “publisher,” said the document leaked to Breitbart.

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