Facebook refuses to delete fake Pelosi video spread by Trump supporters

2020 is going to be awesome.

Facebook says it will continue to host a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House Speaker is drunk or unwell, in the latest incident highlighting its struggle to deal with disinformation. [...]

Despite the apparently malicious intent of the video's creator, Facebook has said it will only downgrade its visibility in users' newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact checking site pointing out that the clip is misleading. As a result, although it is less likely to be seen by accident, the doctored video will continue to rack up views. Facebook only took the action following inquiries from the Washington Post, which first reported the story. [...]

One version of the video, which remains live on a Facebook page entitled "Politics WatchDog", has been viewed millions of times, attracting comments speculating on Pelosi's health, supposed use of drugs, and other apparent ailments.

The viral success of the crudely produced video highlights the challenges in fighting online disinformation when individuals are willing to share material that backs their own political views, even when it is accompanied by warnings.

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15 Responses:

  1. BHN says:

    Listening to Facebook's rep trying to continue talking with Anderson Cooper about this without actually saying anything but regurgitated talking points last night was disturbing. He gave her plenty of opportunities to explain why they aren't removing it and she just walked right by every one of them. She didn't even explain any of the reasoning behind their current practices.

    Points to Anderson for continuing to pry at the fact that they're a 'news' organization and leaving up obviously faked propaganda content, he clearly hammered the point that they're portraying themselves as journalists on the one hand and knowingly continuing to host faked content on the other.

    I'm betting next week Sarah Sanders will try to use this as more evidence that CNN is fake news.

    • BHN says:


      Is it wrong that reading this actually improves my feelings toward Pelosi a bit?

      It's nice to see the Onion getting back in the game after two years of reality outperforming them in the surrealism and parody journalism game.

  2. Random Fake News Website says:

    Facebook posts picture of Zuck with what appears to be a slightly raised eyebrow in reply to user-uploaded .GIF of George W. Bush pooping brown jelly beans when his nose is pressed, citing dignity of the fouth estate, need to preserve scientific accuracy of historic public records for a thousand generations of impressionable young schoolchildren, and general coolness of Hot-Or-Not internet business models that are profitable enough to get lots of attention.

    Antifa firebombs White House, Pentagon, and several local UPS stores in retaliation for Facebook censorship, citing revolutionary imperative to furiously gnaw upon the jack-booted heels of fascist corporate oppression and also vast grassroots popular support for U.S. political free speech culture which once again appears to be threatened by the disgusting stupidity of unsophisticated liars and smelly old people who don't know how to use technology.

    CNN declares boycott of jwz.org/blog citing "fake news," "general lack of seriousness," and "out of control comments section." Online petition gathers 13 signatures, most of which appear to be memes, one of which is kind of good in my completely unbiased and 100% apolitical, disinterested, uncaring, and completely worthless algorithmically generated opinion offered here as a free public service for the eternal enlightenment of all mankind.

  3. Matthew King says:

    Facebook are of course arseholes, the clue is in the name, but have we really reached a point in the free speech/media debate where the only question is what people should be permitted and/or encouraged to see?

    The fact that it's even being discussed at all I have already conceded.

  4. Rob says:

    FYI this video is auto-playing every time I visit https://www.jwz.org/blog/

    I do like following your posts, but nobody likes auto-play videos.

    • jwz says:

      What browser are you using? I thought all current browsers refused to auto-play videos unless they had the MUTED tag.

      • margaret says:

        me too. macos 10.14.5 / Version 73.0.3683.103 (Official Build) (64-bit)

        Also. MIT Technology Review taking Zuck's side on this one:
        Why Facebook is right not to take down the doctored Pelosi video.

        • margaret says:

          oops - there was supposed to be a reference to chrome in there.

        • Aidan Gauland says:

          I reject the premise of that article that anything Facebook does sets any kind of precedent, even for Facebook.

          Also, again with the slippery slope cliff argument? C'mon, guys, mix up your bootlicking rhetoric a bit.

          • margaret says:

            reject away all you want about the impact of what is delivered to an audience of billions.

            i'm not sure who's boots you are pointing at. i'm hoping james madison's. or is it the boots of those who are calling for more censorship?

      • Rob says:

        I am using Firefox, but it also happens in Chrome. Both are on the latest version.

      • cephalopoid says:

        It happens on qutebrowser as well and it's annoyingly loud.

      • o.o says:

        I came here to say the same thing. It's been five days and every time I come I get the audio playing from below the screen. Vivaldi 2.5.blah.

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