Accuracy in Media

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been rebuffed by Facebook and Twitter to have an edited video of her ripping up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech removed from the social media platforms.

The five-minute video shows Pelosi repeatedly ripping Trump’s speech as snippets played of the president paying tribute to one of the last surviving Tuskeegee airmen, Charles McGee, and others that he highlighted during the speech including conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Pelosi did tear in fact tear up Trump’s speech, but she did so after he was finished delivering it and didn’t rip pages during the speech.

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, expressed his displeasure at the video on Twitter.

“The American people know that the President has no qualms about lying to them — but it is a shame to see Twitter and Facebook, sources of news for millions, do the same,” he wrote.

“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,” he said.

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone responded to Mr. Hammill on Twitter, writing, “Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?

Hammill responded to Stone, writing: “What planet are you living on? This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”

Mr. Stone said that the video did not violate Facebook’s policy on manipulated media. 

The policy outlines the requirements for removing a video.

  • It has been edited or synthesized – beyond adjustments for clarity or quality – in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And:
  • It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.

Even though the Trump video was technically misleading, the fact remains that Pelosi did rip the speech up and there is video proof of this plus Pelosi’s own comments on why she did it.

That resulted in both companies rejecting the request to remove the video.

Pelosi may have thought that her stunt would be well received–it was with her base, but overall it backfired as it showed a shocking lack of decorum and made her look petty and vindictive.




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