Chris White, DCNF
Several liberal pundits and celebrities expressed their dismay after a Facebook executive told CNN Friday night that the company has no intention of nixing a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Actresses Bette Midler and Alyssa Milano were among a handful of politicians and pundits who complained after Facebook Executive Monika Bickert told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the company determined dinging the video was the wrong move. Facebook believes providing users with accurate information is more important, she noted.
In a CNN Exclusive, Monika Bickert, Facebook VP for Product Policy and Counterterrorism, explains why the social media site hasn’t removed a manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. https://t.co/tr9QRDcAZE pic.twitter.com/fOeMQaepSu
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 25, 2019
Anyone who either sees the video is told that the video is deceptively doctored, Bickert told Cooper who pressed her on why Facebook has the ability to eliminate more than 3 billion phony accounts but not one false video.
That stance didn’t sit well with Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who told his 217,000 Twitter followers Friday night that Facebook is receptive with his office on legislative matters “and suddenly get marbles in their mouths when we ask them about dealing with a fake video.”
Facebook is very responsive to my office when I want to talk about federal legislation and suddenly get marbles in their mouths when we ask them about dealing with a fake video. It’s not that they cannot solve this; it’s that they refuse to do what is necessary.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 24, 2019
Schatz introduced legislation in 2018 that would create new rules around how tech companies collect and handle customer’s data. The deceptively doctored video, which is slowed down to make Pelosi look drunk or incapacitated, has been shared on Facebook several thousand times.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani shared the video on Twitter Thursday, but later deleted the tweet and acknowledged that he did not know it was manipulated.
Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, was confused as to why YouTube chose to ding the video but Facebook passed. “If youtube can take down fake videos, Facebook can take down fake videos,” she wrote on Twitter Thursday night following Cooper’s interview. Midler was even more profane in her condemnation of Facebook.
If youtube can take down fake videos, Facebook can take down fake videos.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) May 25, 2019
“Facebook acknowledges Pelosi video is faked but declines to delete it. FUCK YOU, FACEBOOK!!” the actress wrote in a late light tweet. She shared a Thursday afternoon Washington Post report that highlighted the nature of the video. Milano crafted a similar tweet, telling her followers: “This is disgusting,
@facebook. Shame on you.”
Facebook acknowledges Pelosi video is faked but declines to delete it https://t.co/SsHcY1mNZx . FUCK YOU, FACEBOOK!!
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 25, 2019
Several outlets then conflated the doctored video that Giuliani shared with a separate video President Donald Trump retweeted Thursday that placed Pelosi in a similar light. That video was published by Fox Business and was spliced together from a speech the California Democrat gave on Wednesday. It appeared to be an obvious mockery.