House Democrats blasted Twitter and Facebook on Friday for hosting what they called a misleadingly edited video posted by President Donald Trump that features House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up his State of the Union speech.
The incident is the latest test of the companies’ new policies on manipulated media.
The video, posted Thursday, splices in footage of Pelosi's paper-shredding amid moments in which Trump honored the last surviving Tuskegee Airman, announced the reunion of a service member with his family and praised a fallen soldier, among other parts of Tuesday's address. Pelosi in fact tore up the document at the end of the speech, an action that prompted fierce attacks from Republicans.
Democrats pounded both social media platforms for not taking down the video, in a dust-up that echoed last spring's controversy over a video that had been deceptively edited to make Pelosi falsely appear to be drunk.
“Hey @Twitter, this video is clearly edited in a way that’s intended to mislead viewers," Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) tweeted Friday. "You should take it down."
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) chimed in: “This video is doctored. It has been up, and pinned to the President's page, for nearly a day. Trump posted it to deceive Americans about @SpeakerPelosi 's actions and record."
Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, also took aim at the companies over the video, tweeting, "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."
But both companies indicated they will not take action against the video.
"Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn't make those remarks and the Speaker didn't rip the speech?" Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted in response to Hammill.
Stone told POLITICO the video does not violate Facebook's policies against clips that would "mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say."
Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough said the company’s new policies against "synthetic and manipulated media" will not take effect until March 5, as previously announced, and the social network will not retroactively review Trump’s tweet or others featuring the video.
Facebook and Twitter recently unveiled rules to crack down on altered media and so-called deepfakes, but the policies stop short of outright banning doctored videos. Facebook said its policies won’t apply to parody or satirical videos, and Twitter said it may not remove videos that aren’t deceptively shared or likely to cause harm to users.
Facebook has also taken heat in Washington for standing by its policy not to fact-check ads by politicians.
A White House spokesperson did not offer comment on the tweet.