You may have seen a video on Twitter featuring Joe Biden, in which he appears to say “We can only re-elect Donald Trump”. It turns out that video was altered in order to make it sound like that was what he said. Twitter responded by adding a “Manipulated Media” tag to the video. The tag will immediately alert those who watch the video that it has been manipulated.
Twitter’s Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy states the following:
You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.
When Twitter has reason to believe that media shared in a Tweet has been “significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated”, they will do one or all of the following:
- Apply a label to the content where it appears in the Twitter product
- Show a warning to people before they share or like the content
- Reduce visibility of the content on Twitter and/or prevent it from being recommended
- Provide a link to additional explanations or clarifications, such as in a Twitter Moment or landing page.
CNN reported that what Joe Biden actually said was: “ Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.” The manipulated video that was shared on Twitter cut off Joe Biden’s sentence in order to make it appear that he said, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.” In other words, the manipulated video provided misinformation to those who viewed it.
Washington Post tech policy reporter Cat Zakrzewski tweeted: “Just in: Twitter applied its new manipulated video label for the first time to a deceptively edited video of Joe Biden. It was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, and retweeted by the President”.
The tweet shows a screenshot of Dan Scavino’s tweet in which the video was posted. Below the video is an exclamation point inside a circle, next to the words “Manipulated media.”
To me, Twitter is doing the right thing in regards to this video. It is not okay for people to intentionally falsify information about a politician during their campaign. Manipulated video confuses voters because it isn’t always immediately apparent that what they are watching has been altered. Those who feel the need to create lies in order to win an election aren’t going to get away with it on Twitter anymore.