Twitter Labels Fake Video of Joe Biden as “Manipulated Content”

Joseph R. Biden Jr. (photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

In its first application of a new policy to curb the spread of fake videos announced last February, Twitter has flagged a clip shared by President Trump as manipulated content. The video appears to show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stumbling over his words during a speech in Kansas City, Missouri this Saturday, March 7.

At the end of the speech, Biden seems to conclude, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.” But the phrase was selectively cut from the original footage, in which Biden actually says, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s got to be a positive campaign.”

The video was shared to Twitter and Facebook this weekend by the White House’s director of social media, Dan Scavino, along with the caption “Sleepy Joe in St. Louis, Missouri today.” Scavino’s post was then re-posted by President Trump, several conservative outlets, and even some Bernie supporters.

According to the New York Times, the video had garnered more than five million views and was retweeted over 20,000 times before Twitter labeled it as manipulated content following user complaints. Because of a technical glitch, however, Twitter’s “manipulated media” label is not showing up on all posts featuring the manipulated video. The company is reportedly working on a fix, a Twitter spokesperson told the Washington Post.

A re-tweet of the video by Fox News host Sean Hannity showing Twitter’s “manipulated media” label.

Facebook, on the other hand, did not immediately remove or flag the video, prompting a sharp retort from Biden’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz. The company eventually added a warning to the post on Monday morning.

“Facebook’s malfeasance when it comes to trafficking in blatantly false information is a national crisis in this respect,” Schultz said in a statement.