With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have taken a controversially aggressive stand against “misinformation”.
They are taking down any post that they said has spread false claims about COVID-19, even if it was posted by a head of state.
Today, Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted a clip where the former Vice President Joe Biden calls the coronavirus a hoax. While the ex-Vice President didn’t really call the COVID-19 a hoax, the audio shared by Trump’s campaign was manipulated from various other sources of audio.
The media is giving a pass to a pro-Biden TV ad that doctors and deceptively edits audio of President Trump, even though every independent fact checker said President Trump DID NOT call the coronavirus a hoax.
Joe Biden, on the other hand? This sounds authentic… pic.twitter.com/YY6vN5gTM6
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 2, 2020
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The Trump campaign video is misleading – and purposely so.
This video released by the Trump campaign is based on a similar ad released by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, which also featured misleading audio content where it suggests that Trump called the coronavirus pandemic a hoax.
Ever since PAC Priorities released the audio of Trump calling COVID-19 a hoax, the Trump campaign ended up flagging the video on grounds of violating social media platforms’ content guidelines.
Trump refused to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, now he won’t take responsibility as his administration has been totally unprepared for this crisis. pic.twitter.com/Jdh1GY9HHS
— Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 23, 2020
But social platforms never removed the video. That’s why the Trump campaign is testing whether, this time, if they create a manipulated video of Biden, that video would also remain online.
“The media is giving a pass to a pro-Biden TV ad that doctors and deceptively edits audio of President Trump, even though every independent fact checker said President Trump DID NOT call the coronavirus a hoax. Joe Biden, on the other hand? This sounds authentic…,” read the tweet by Trump’s campaign.
“Twitter has so far effectively instituted a ‘Biden protection rule,’ refusing to apply their manipulated media label to video and audio of President Trump that every independent fact checker says is false,” a Trump campaign official said. “This tweet forces the issue and makes Twitter decide. It can enforce its arbitrary rules fairly and equally, or it can have its policy exposed as totally ineffective or a partisan sham. It’s their move.”
While independent fact-checkers have made it clear that Trump has not called coronavirus itself a hoax, and was instead saying that the “hoax” would be Democrats and the media portraying his handling of the pandemic as bad, Twitter hasn’t taken any action on the ads.
As of the time of publication, both videos remain on the platform.