Facebook, Twitter place warning labels on altered Biden video

WASHINGTON: Facebook and Twitter both added tags denoting false or manipulated content to a video reposted by President Donald Trump of his Democrat rival Joe Biden.

The edited video, which seemed to show Biden endorsing the president, was marked “partly false” by Facebook and “manipulated media” on Twitter.

The moves appear to interrupt new ground for the social media platforms in handling the sensitive question of political disinformation.

Facebook, which has taken a hands-off policy on content from politicians, said this case merited fact-checking because it had been posted before the president shared it.

“Fact-checkers rated this video as partly false, so we are reducing its distribution and showing warning labels with more context for people that see it, attempt to share it, or have already got,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP.

“As we announced last year, an equivalent applies if an official shares the video, if it had been otherwise fact-checked when shared by others on Facebook.”

Twitter used a replacement policy to spot misleading content for the primary time.

The messaging platform — which is widely employed by Trump — had announced it might start enforcing a policy against manipulated content, including from politicians, starting March 5.

The clip posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino seemed to show Biden telling a crowd: “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

The footage was later retweeted by Trump and had been viewed nearly six million times by Monday.

But the video cropped the top of Biden´s sentence — made during a recent campaign speech Missouri state — where he was discussing the necessity for party unity within the wake of a bruising primary contest.

“We can only re-elect Donald Trump if actually we get engaged during this circular firing party here,” Biden had said.

Twitter appended a label to the video describing it as “manipulated media.”

The move was welcomed by Jason Kint, chief executive of the web trade group Digital Content Next.

“Outstanding. Twitter showing leadership here. this is often the proper move. They also should eliminate their algorithm providing any reach/velocity thereto,” Kint tweeted.

“It´s a deceptive cut and will be labeled which Twitter has full right to try to to .”

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