Twitter labeled a selectively edited video tweeted by Donald Trump as “manipulated media” on Thursday night as the tech giant continued to crackdown on misinformation posted on the president’s official account.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted a video from Twitter user and self-described “memesmith” Carpe Donktum which edited a viral video of two toddlers, one Black and one white, running towards each other and hugging, before running away together. The edited video played elements of the video out of sequence, added ominous music and a fake CNN chyron suggesting that the “racist” white child was chasing the Black child in an attempt to suggest news organisations were distorting reality and that “America is not the problem” when it came to racism.
Twitter added a “manipulated media” label to the tweet which linked to a page outlining its policies on such content. “You may not deceptively promote 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,” the policy states.
“You should be able to find reliable information on Twitter. That means understanding whether the content you see is real or fabricated and having the ability to find more context about what you see on Twitter. Therefore, we may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated. In addition, you may not share deceptively altered media on Twitter in ways that mislead or deceive people about the media’s authenticity where threats to physical safety or other serious harm may result,” Twitter’s policy adds.
Against a backdrop of rising tensions between Big Tech and the White House, particularly as the presidential election in November approaches, Twitter’s move comes as it continues to grapple with misinformation on its platform spread by one its most powerful and influential users. Last month, Twitter labeled a pair of Trump tweets regarding election fraud as misleading which led to a furious reaction from the White House and accusations of bias and censorship. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded by reaffirming the company’s commitment to fact check information related to elections.
Also on Thursday, Facebook removed dozens of political ads linked to the Trump re-election campaign that featured an upside down red triangle, a symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, communists and others in concentration camps.