Twitter Flags Donald Trump Campaign Response To Joe Biden Speech As “Manipulated Media”

·3 min read

When Donald Trump’s campaign blasted out a response to Joe Biden’s speech on Monday, based on a wildly out of context quote, Twitter very quickly labeled it “manipulated media.”

The account Trump War Room sent out a three-second clip in which Biden says, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America!” But Biden was actually saying the opposite.

Biden said in his Pittsburgh speech, “And since they have no agenda or vision for a second term Trump and Pence are running on this: ‘You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.’ And what’s their proof? The violence you’re seeing in Donald Trump’s America.”

Twitter’s rules prohibit media that is “significantly and deceptively altered or manipulated.”

Trump’s campaign responded shortly afterward: “To all the triggered journalists who can’t take a joke about their candidate, it’s not our fault Joe Biden was dumb enough to say this on camera.”

Symone Sanders, senior adviser to Biden’s campaign, wrote, “The Trump campaign manipulated a video from @JoeBiden’s speech today because they could not challenge the content of the speech. This is their game. They cannot and will not compete on the facts.”

The problem of manipulated video has been an increasing problem for campaigns as they push back against disinformation.

One of Trump’s supporters, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), shared a video over the weekend that inserted words into a Q&A between activist Ady Barkan and Biden. Barkan, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, communicates via computer-generated voice. In the doctored video, Barkan asks Biden, “Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding for police?” Biden agrees.

But Barkan didn’t use the final two words of his question: “For police.” That changes the meaning, as it suggests that Biden is for the defund-the-police movement. He is not. Twitter also flagged the video as “manipulated media.”

Scalise responded by contending that Biden says in the original video that he agrees that funding should be “redirected.” But Biden has said that there is a difference, as it applies to a police reform proposal. It calls for increasing funding for community policing efforts, among other things.

Twitter also flagged another doctored video advanced by Trump’s team.

Dan Scavino, who is a top Trump aide and director of social media at the White House, on Sunday tweeted out a video from his personal Twitter account that appeared to show a news anchor trying to interview Biden, but the Democratic candidate was asleep.

In fact, the incident was from a Bakersfield TV station interview with Harry Belafonte from nine years ago. John Dabkovich, who was co-anchor at the time, said that it was “Fake.” “I was the coanchor in the studio.” The doctored video, however, got 1.7 million videos.


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