Facebook and Twitter are refusing to bow to demands from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove an edited video of the California Democrat throwing a tantrum and tearing up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech — and the Pelosi camp is throwing its toys out of the pram.
The edited video was posted on both Facebook and Twitter after Tuesday’s 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 as Trump is saluting a Tuskegee airman in the audience.
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Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, threw another tantrum on Friday, criticizing Facebook for refusing to delete the video, and describing the version Trump tweeted as a “fake video.”
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“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.
To his credit, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone refused to accept the petulant argument put forth by Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, and patiently explained why the edited version does not violate Facebook 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.”
That’s when Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff threw a tantrum of his own: “What planet are you living on? This is deceptively altered. Take it down.”
DailyCaller report: 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.