There have been increased calls for social media companies to censor “manipulated media” – something that has, in the recent past, ? put risk viral memes at risk.
A video featuring US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone viral on Facebook and was fact-checked after CNN contacted the social media giant. The video has been slowed so that it appears as if the House Speaker, who already has some kind of speech impediment that causes her to slur words, is drunk.
In May 2019, a similarly slowed down video went viral on Facebook. Pelosi was angered by Facebook for applying a fact check label instead of removing the video.
Facebook is repeating the same action – instead of removing the video that has been on the platform since Thursday, Facebook applied a “Partly false” label on the video on Sunday. So, the video is still on Facebook. However, due to the “partly false” label, it will appear much less frequently on users' news feeds.
Though it didn't remove the video, last time Facebook punished those users who shared it.
The more recent video is a clip from a press briefing by Pelosi in May. She was addressing the allegedly false remarks President Trump made regarding former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough, who now works at MSNBC.
CNN went as far as turning to a “video forensics expert” who, speaking to CNN, said the video had been manipulated by slowing the speed of the original clip.
“This appears to be the same type of manipulation (of) the Speaker Pelosi that made the rounds last year,” Hany Farid said.
The visual forensics expert, who is also a professor at the University of California Berkeley, said the video should be removed.
The user who first uploaded the video on Facebook captioned it, “This is unbelievable, she is blowed out of her mind, I bet this gets taken down!”
A version of the video first appeared on TikTok in May and garnered over 37K views before it was removed for violating the Beijing-based social platform's policies on “synthetic media.”
Different users on YouTube also uploaded the video. The YouTube copies were also removed for going against manipulated media policies.
However, Facebook feels the video did not violate its policies to an extent warranting removal. A rep for the company said:
“Following an incident over a year ago with a previous video of Speaker Pelosi, we took a number of key steps, making it very clear to people on Facebook when a third-party fact-checker determines content to be false and updating our policy to make explicit the kind of manipulated media we will remove. And, as always, when a video is determined false, its distribution is dramatically reduced and people who see it, try to share it, or have already shared it, see warnings alerting them that it's false.”
Speaker Pelosi has recently made calls for more to be done to remove “misinformation” on social media.