Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Another doctored video of Nancy Pelosi goes viral on Facebook, but company won’t take it down


Another doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going viral on Facebook. The social media giant has not taken down the clip, despite having fact-checkers flag it as “partly false.” 

The video, which was edited to have parts slowed down and sections cut out, shows Pelosi speaking at a May 20 news conference but makes it look as if she were impaired. The original C-SPAN video of the event shows her answering questions without any issues. 

The deceptively edited clip was shared nearly 80,000 times on Facebook, according to Lead Stories, a third-party partner of the social media company that does independent fact-checking. The site concluded on Sunday that the video was “digitally slowed down to make it appear as if Pelosi was intoxicated.” That analysis prompted Facebook to slap a “partly false” label in front of the video and to limit its distribution. 

This is the second doctored video featuring Pelosi that’s gone viral. After the first one surfaced in May 2019, a Facebook spokesperson told CBS News on Monday that the company “took a number of key steps,” including the use of third-party fact-checkers and updating Facebook policy to make explicit which media will be removed. 

“When a video is determined false, its distribution is dramatically reduced and people who see it, try to share it, or have already shared it, see warnings alerting them that it’s false,” the company said.

But Facebook’s manipulated media policy states it will only remove content in certain limited scenarios, such as if a video were edited in a way that “would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say.” 

Many users commented on the doctored video of Pelosi’s speech and seemingly believed it to be true. A user who identifies himself as Will Allen uploaded the clip to Facebook and told commenters that the video is real, though he told CBS News he did not create it himself.

“I found it somewhere on the interweb if you had watched it to the end you will see the credits,” he said in a message. “I support our President she does not, she is my enemy.”

The video has a label at the end indicating it originated on TikTok. A TikTok spokesperson told CBS News in a statement that they removed the video for violating its synthetic media policy. 

“Our users value seeing authentic content on TikTok, and we do too, which is why we remove harmful misleading and deceptive content as we become aware of it,” the TikTok spokesperson said. 

CBS News reached out to Pelosi’s office, but did not immediately hear back. 



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