Twitter, Facebook split on manipulated Bloomberg video

Twitter and Facebook are split on how to address an edited video from Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debate that was shared by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s verified Twitter account.

In the video, the billionaire 2020 Democratic hopeful asks the other contenders if they have ever started a business. It is edited to show the other candidates on the stage to appear lost for words, with the sound of crickets added to the video.

A spokesperson for Twitter told The Hill on Friday that the video would likely be labeled under the platform’s new manipulated media policy set to roll out March 5.

Under the policy announced earlier this month, Twitter may label or even remove media that is “deceptively” altered.

On the other hand, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone confirmed on Twitter that the same video posted on Facebook or Instagram would not be labeled.

Facebook’s policy to ban “deepfakes” — a term to describe videos altered using artificial intelligence, which does not seem to be used in this case — includes specific exceptions for satire.

The policy “does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words,” Facebook says.

The video from Bloomberg’s campaign is yet another test on how social media platforms will respond to manipulated media as the 2020 elections loom.

Major platforms have received significant scrutiny for failing to act on two viral edited videos: a video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slowed down to make her appear intoxicated and a video of former Vice President Joe Biden cut to make him appear to be espousing white nationalist talking points. 

In both cases, Facebook and Twitter — the platforms that contained the Pelosi and Biden content, respectively — did not remove the videos despite outcry.

Under Twitter’s new policy both videos would be labeled, while Facebook maintains that those cruder editing tactics do not violate its rules.

Tags Facebook Joe Biden manipulated media Michael Bloomberg Nancy Pelosi Twitter

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video