High-profile US politician launches blistering attack on FacebookThursday, 30 May 2019 09:46
High profile US Democrat Nancy Pelosi has launched a blistering attack on Facebook for refusing to block the sharing of a video of her that was doctored to make it look like she was drunk.
US House Speaker Pelosi is one of the most powerful politicians in the United States, and is recognized as the de-facto leader of the Democrats in Washington. The video which did appear to make Pelosi look intoxicated - was shared on Twitter by US President Donald Trump much to the delight of his Republican base.
Pelosi called on Facebook to block the video, but to her shock the social networking behemoth declined her request which sparked an angry response from the House Speaker.
Pelosi said, “Facebook knows that this video has been doctored and is false. They're lying to the public."
Pelosi added that Facebook's decision to allow posting of the blatantly misleading video now calls into doubt how unware it was surrounding Russian manipulation of the platform that played a huge role in accelerating Trump’s ascension to the White House in 2016.
"I believe that Facebook has proven by not taking down something they know is false that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our elections," Pelosi said.
Facebook have thus far declined to respond to Pelosi’s outburst and claims that were willingly complicit in Russia’s interference in the US Presidential race in 2016.
However, Facebook has been quoted in other media reports as saying that the social network's news feed ranking of the video clip sank and that it was tagged with an alert saying it is false after independent fact checkers confirmed that was the case.
Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly argued that rules regarding boundaries of free speech should be set by governments and societies, not private companies such as Facebook.
Facebook blocks deceptive content that promotes violence but has declined to filter content based purely on truth.
YouTube has told AFP that it has blocked the doctored Pelosi video clip because it violates the Google-owned video sharing service's policies regarding acceptable content.
"These videos violated our policies and have been removed," a YouTube spokesperson told AFP.
"They also did not surface prominently. In fact, search results and watch next panels about Nancy Pelosi include videos from authoritative sources, usually at the top."