President Donald Trump speaks in the Brady press briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March, 9, 2020, about the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Twitter employed its new rules about “manipulated content” for the first time, flagging a video shared by the Trump campaign as a “manipulated” video because it cut off additional remarks of Joe Biden that added further context to his comment “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”
What it showed was not edited or manipulated. Facebook said it didn’t meet their standards of “deceptive editing.”
But Joe Biden ran a video that had multiple lies about President Donald Trump in it and it very clearly was manipulated, as can be seen here.
We can't sit by and lose this country to Donald Trump. Today, we take it back — together.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 3, 2020
However, it hasn’t been flagged by Twitter yet and the Trump campaign is asking why.
Trump Campaign Chief Operating Officer Michael Glassner on Monday sent a letter to Twitter demanding one of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign videos being deemed “manipulated media.” According to Trump’s re-election campaign, the video in question “contains misleading and edited audio that runs afoul of Twitter’s own new standards.”
“Understandably, the Biden campaign has a strategic interest in intimidating social media companies into suppressing true and embarrassing video evidence of Joe Biden’s continued inability to communicate coherently—a sad truth that has been publicly noted by Democrats and media figures alike,” the letter read.
The Trump campaign points out that the video is deceptively edited to promote multiple lies.
First, it claims that Trump called the Wuhan virus a hoax, when he never did so. Many in media, however, did push that lie. Even Facebook had to call it out as false and they flagged the claim in a Politico story. It’s not clear if they’ve flagged this video yet but it would appear to contain the same false claim.
Second, the video makes it appear that Trump called the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville “very fine people.” This is another debunked claim — even CNN’s Jake Tapper called it out as false. Indeed, Trump said, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”
Third, they also edit a clip where he says that the “American dream is dead.” They clipped out more context in which Trump said, “Sadly, the American dream is dead, but if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.” So it sounds very similar to what Twitter objected to about the video shared by the Trump campaign.
Glassner said that if you are going to have these rules, they need to be applied fairly so as not to unfairly impact the election.
Trump campaign rapid response director Andrew Clark told Fox News, “The Biden campaign is scared as hell that voters will see the flood of unedited and embarrassing verbal stumbles that will continue go viral if ‘Status Quo Joe’ is the nominee.”
“Twitter shouldn’t be an enforcement arm of Joe Biden’s campaign strategy, but if they choose to police every video clip they must hold his own campaign to the same standard,” Clark said.
It’s pretty hard to see how you could flag the video tweeted by the Trump campaign and not flag the Biden video which has real manipulation, deceptive editing and just out and out lies.
So where is the fairness, Twitter? How do you justify this?