Twitter's Misinformation Policy: First 'Manipulated Media' Tag Placed on Biden Video

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Twitter's new policy of tagging edited videos in the fight against misinformation is already in force and the social networking platform has tagged a video from the White House. 

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The video, produced by Dan Scavino, the social media director at the White House appears to show Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate, endorsing Trump.

The video made Biden appear to be saying that only Trump could be re-elected, an effect that was achieved by careful trimming. 

However, in the unedited version of the speech, Biden continues completely changing the meaning and context of the quote presented in Scavino's video; a video that was retweeted by President Trump himself.

When released on the platform the post received more than 75,000 likes and has been retweeted over 24,000 times. Twitter then applied the 'manipulated media' tag to the video to highlight that the video was deceptive.

The label will now show up on timelines but will not be seen when searching for specific users. This is a flaw that Twitter is currently working on. The label, which was launched on 5 March 2020 has never previously been used.

Putting an End to Re-Twitting Wrong Info

The new rules state that Twitter users must not circulate anything that is synthetic or manipulated if this is likely to cause harm and it reserves the right to place the new label on any such media to protect other users and make sure people can identify authentic information.

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Other criteria used by Twitter for labeling or removing content include editing to remove any visual/audio information, anything that threatens personal safety, privacy or impinges on a person's right to free expression.

Scavino continues to claim that the video wasn't manipulated and yet it is clear that it has been “deceptively edited,” which is in direct violation of the rules. 

If you viewed the clip and then looked at the original it is clear that auditory information has been erased to change the meaning of Biden's speech.

Despite Facebook's announcement in January that the network was cracking down on this type of media manipulation their current policy doesn't cover all videos, for example, if something has been obviously edited as a parody for comedic effect this will still be allowed. 

At the time of writing the video can be viewed on Facebook and has not been flagged as manipulated content.  

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Noah Jones

I spent most of my earlier days writing at local Newspapers in L.A. I'm a graduate of UCLA having studied Journalism and Creative Writing, earning two different degrees in one. So have fun reading and feel free to write.