For the first time, Twitter has branded a political video shared by President Donald Trump as “manipulated media.”
The video, which mocked Joe Biden, was originally posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino. The clip included a speech made by Biden on Saturday that was edited to make it appear that the Democratic candidate had inadvertently endorsed the president.
The “manipulated media” stamp is a new Twitter policy meant to combat false political messages and alert users to misleadingly altered media or completely fabricated events. Twitter’s policy, which went into effect on Thursday, defines manipulated posts as any photo, video or audio that has been “significantly altered or fabricated.”
The Biden video was edited to shorten one of his sentences so he could be heard saying: “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump.” But what he actually said: “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.”
Twitter branded Scavino’s tweet as manipulated media on Sunday evening, some 18 hours after he posted it and drew 5 million views, The Washington Post reported. However, the action wasn’t completely successful: It failed to show up on Scavino’s tweet on his own Twitter page — or on Trump’s retweet — even though it appeared on individuals’ timelines.
A Twitter representative told the Post that the company was working on a fix.
Many people who commented on Scavino’s posted video — and the president’s retweet — wondered why Twitter didn’t remove the tweets. Under Twitter’s new policy, the company said it would remove completely false or manipulated photos or videos if they are likely to cause serious harm.
Scavino posted a tweet Sunday night that insisted the video was not manipulated:
The video was NOT manipulated. https://t.co/p9QrNPYOvf
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) March 9, 2020