Twitter flags Trump tweet featuring fake CNN chyron as ‘manipulated media’
Twitter has flagged a tweet from President Trump as containing “manipulated media” after the president tweeted a clip of a black toddler and a white toddler edited to include a CNN chyron reading “terrified todler[sic] runs from racist baby.”
The initial video, which was widely circulated online long before the tweet, shows the two children running towards each other and embracing.
It has been edited to include ominous background music and the fictitious CNN headline. The video reverts to the original clip midway through, cutting to a title reading “America is not the problem. Fake news is.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
“This tweet has been labeled per our synthetic and manipulated media policy to give people more context,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill.
In a statement directly addressing Trump, a CNN spokesperson noted that the network covered the footage of the two New York children when it first went viral in 2019 under the headline “These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like.”
“CNN did cover this story — exactly as it happened. Just as we reported your positions on race [and poll numbers],” the network said in a statement. “We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. We invite you to do the same. Be better.”
The tweet marks the third time the social media platform has flagged a tweet by the president.
On the first occasion, Twitter appended the president’s comments on mail-in voting, a frequent topic for Trump, as containing misinformation about an election.
Shortly thereafter, the social platform flagged a second tweet about unrest after the death of George Floyd that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” as promoting violence.
Trump has pushed back sharply against flags from the platform, announcing an executive order shortly after the first time a tweet was flagged that directed the federal government to consider removing some of social media platforms’ legal protections.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, by contrast, has said he does not consider it within the website’s purview to fact-check or remove political content.
—Updated at 2:52 p.m.