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23 Feb 2020 8:31
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  •   Home > News > International

    Nancy Pelosi in battle with Facebook and Twitter over Donald Trump's 'misleading' ripped speech video

    Nancy Pelosi has failed to persuade Facebook and Twitter to take down a "misleading" video posted by Donald Trump, featuring her ripping up his State of the Union speech while the US President honours veterans and scholarship winners.

    Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has failed to persuade Facebook and Twitter to take down a "misleading" video posted by US President Donald Trump.

    The five-minute video posted by Mr Trump is entitled "Powerful American stories ripped to shreds by Nancy Pelosi".

    The video, which has been heavily edited, shows Ms Pelosi repeatedly ripping Mr Trump's State of the Union address while the President honours an airman and young African-American women receiving scholarships, among others.

    Ms Pelosi famously ripped up a copy of the President's State of the Union address at the conclusion of his speech, but Mr Trump has now used that moment against her, as tension between the two continues to rise.

    The recent stoushes started with a handshake refusal, the ripping of the speech and then thinly-veiled accusations at a religious breakfast.

    The video earned the ire of Ms Pelosi and her team, who called on Facebook and Twitter to remove it due to claims that it is designed to "mislead the American people".

    "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," Ms Pelosi's chief of staff Drew Hammill said on Twitter.

    "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."

    Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, told the New York Times: "If Nancy Pelosi fears images of her ripping up the speech, perhaps she shouldn't have ripped up the speech."

    A campaign spokesperson for Mr Trump also said it was clear the video was a "parody".

    Social media response

    Twitter recently announced a new rule stating that "you may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm" but the rule does not come into effect until March 5.

    Facebook also announced a new policy in January which would bar AI-generated fake videos but not videos that are misleading or heavily edited by humans.

    Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone denied Mr Hammill's claims on Twitter.

    "Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn't make those remarks and the Speaker didn't rip the speech?" Mr Stone tweeted.

    Mr Hammill reiterated that the video was deceptive and again called for it to be taken down.

    Facebook said in a statement that the video did not violate its policies and Twitter had not officially commented.

    In late 2019 Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was forced to fend off questions in a congressional hearing over election interference and fact-checking.

    Mr Zuckerberg did not declare in that hearing whether political messaging with "outright lies" would be taken down from Facebook.


    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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