House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made waves when she decided to shred up President Donald Trump's State of the Union address before he even finished giving his speech. Shortly after the incident, conservatives took to social media to criticize Pelosi for her actions. After all, it was rude to completely disregard the people mentioned in Trump's address, like Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee, and Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams who is on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. It was later revealed that Pelosi had preplanned the move. It wasn't a "courteous thing to do considering the alternatives," as she claimed.
Turning Point USA, the conservative college group, decided to edit a video of Trump's speech acknowledging various people who have benefited from the president's policies, along with Pelosi shredding the speech.
The video has received more than 20 million views across various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. President Donald Trump even tweeted it himself.
And because of the massive attention the video has received, Pelosi's congressional staff and fellow Democrats are demanding Big Tech pull the plug on the video.
This video is clearly another deceptive effort by @realDonaldTrump to mislead and manipulate the American people.— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) February 7, 2020
Hey @jack, show your commitment to cut down on the misinformation corroding our nation and take down this fake video. https://t.co/C2uAFPfWzL
This video is doctored. It has been up, and pinned to the President's page, for nearly a day.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) February 7, 2020
Trump posted it to deceive Americans about @SpeakerPelosi's actions and record.
If I posted a doctored video it would be a clear violation House Rules.@Twitter should take this down. https://t.co/zTc2OHntQ5
.@Twitter must take this misleading video about @SpeakerPelosi down now.— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) February 7, 2020
Social media platforms are a place where people come for news & information.
They need to have certain standards.
Falsity has never been part of our 1st Amendment tradition. https://t.co/dwiDeKNd3D
Pelosi's Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, took to Twitter to air his grievances, calling the video a deliberate move "designed to mislead and lie to the American people":
The American people know that the President has no qualms about lying to them – but it is a shame to see Twitter and Facebook, sources of news for millions, do the same. https://t.co/OatHIOamsD— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) February 7, 2020
The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests.— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) February 7, 2020
What makes this even more unbelievable: one of Facebook's communications team members, Andy Stone, even chided Hammill for making the claim. And just for clarification, Stone is a fellow Democrat. He's worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the House Majority PAC and even Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn't make those remarks and the Speaker didn't rip the speech?— Andy Stone (@andymstone) February 7, 2020
But Hammill didn't like the response.
what planet are you living on? this is deceptively altered. take it down.— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) February 7, 2020
Stone pointed to one of Facebook's policies about content like this.
The reason I was making the point about the fact that the things featured in this video actually happened is because that's a key element of our policy on content like this. https://t.co/CAtmBPczlG— Andy Stone (@andymstone) February 7, 2020
From Facebook policy (emphasis mine):
As a result of these partnerships and discussions, we are strengthening our policy toward misleading manipulated videos that have been identified as deepfakes. Going forward, we will remove misleading manipulated media if it meets the following criteria:
- It has been edited or synthesized – beyond adjustments for clarity or quality – in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And:
- It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.
This 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.
Consistent with our existing policies, audio, photos or videos, whether a deepfake or not, will be removed from Facebook if they violate any of our other Community Standards including those governing nudity, graphic violence, voter suppression and hate speech.
According to Johnson, if Pelosi is able to successfully get this video pulled from social media, this could set a dangerous precedent.
“If totalitarian Nancy Pelosi gets her way - every single video from every media outlet will be labeled as “edited” and “doctored.” What a dystopian hellscape," Benny Johnson, Chief Creative Officer of Turning Point USA, told Townhall. "It will be the death of media as we know it. This is congressional cancel culture and we should all fight against it."