News & Opinion | May 24, 2019 11:26 am

Doctored Video of Nancy Pelosi is Fine, Says Facebook

Facebook said it will only downgrade its visibility in users’ newsfeeds

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
A doctored video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still live on Facebook. (Win McNamee/ Getty)
Getty Images

A video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was doctored to make it seem as if she’s drunk or unwell will remain on Facebook, the social network said, despite the clip’s intent to spread misinformation.

The video shows Pelosi — who, as The Guardian notes, has fiercely battled President Trump in recent days — speaking at an event but the speed was obviously slowed to make it appear as if Pelosi is slurring her words.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, among many of his other supporters, shared and then later deleted a link to the video on Facebook with the caption: “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre.”

In response to criticism from many users who have pointed out that the video is a fake, Facebook said it will only downgrade its visibility in users’ newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact checking site pointing out that the clip is misleading. While this will lessen the likelihood that the video will be seen by accident, it will continue to rack up views.

“There’s a tension here: we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.”

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