House Democrat calls on Facebook to take down doctored Pelosi video

House Democrat calls on Facebook to take down doctored Pelosi video
© Greg Nash

Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooHillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution Democrats urge tech giants to change algorithms that facilitate spread of extremist content Bottom line MORE (D-Calif.) is demanding Facebook remove a video of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop More hands needed on the nuclear football Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) edited to make her appear intoxicated.

“I am extremely troubled that Facebook is once again refusing to remove a doctored video of Speaker Pelosi that makes her seem inebriated,” Eshoo, a Pelosi ally, said in a letter to the social media giant on Tuesday.

“The video is disinformation, and by leaving it up, Facebook is actively playing a role in disseminating political disinformation,” Eshoo added.


The clip was first shared on the platform Saturday with the caption, "this is unbelievable, she is blowed out of her mind, I bet this gets took down!" The 55-second video comes from a May press conference in which Pelosi condemned comments President Trump made about MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough.

Facebook has elected not to remove the clip, which surpassed 3 million views on Tuesday, instead electing to place a "partly false" label on it. Twitter, YouTube and TikTok have removed the video.

A similarly edited clip of Pelosi — made to make her appear to be slurring words — was shared widely on Facebook last year.

Facebook has defended keeping the latest video up, saying it does not meet its grounds for removal.

The Hill has reached out to representatives for the platform for comment on Eshoo's letter. Eshoo represents Palo Alto, Calif., the home of Facebook’s headquarters. She sits on a House subcommittee focused on communications and technology. 


Facebook's general proclivity toward leaving content up has sparked harsh criticism from Democrats in recent months.

In particular, CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review Facebook has no current plan to end the Trump suspension MORE has faced internal and external pressure for allowing false political advertisements and keeping up posts from political figures like Trump that include nods toward violence.

The platform's founder has defended his hands-off approach, arguing that online platforms should not operate as arbiters of truth.