News and Commentary

Twitter Flags Biden Video Retweeted By Trump As ‘Manipulated Media’; WH Social Media Director: ‘Dangerous Precedent’
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a rally at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi on March 8, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter has flagged a post retweeted by President Trump as “manipulated media,” marking what appears to be the first time the social media giant has targeted the president for such action.

The Twitter post came from Dan Scavino, the White House’s social media director, and showed former Vice President Joe Biden saying: “We cannot win this re-election, excuse me, we can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

Twitter formally unveiled a new policy last month that says media that has been “significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated” can be thusly labeled if the social media company determines it is deliberately misleading.

“You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm,” the company said in a blog post. “In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.”

The clip wasn’t “manipulated,” but it was cut off. Biden, speaking in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, actually said: “We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here.”

Scavino took to Twitter early Monday to say, “The video was NOT manipulated.”

The Trump aide also posted several other tweets, including one that said: “Twitter is setting such a dangerous precedent here. By this logic all ‘clips’ on the platform are ‘Manipulated.'”

“Yes they are … 100%!” Scavino wrote.

Scavino also posted a link to a Washington Examiner story headlined, “Twitter exec: ‘Jail,’ ‘impeachment’ for Trump, calls social media chief ‘racist d–k’”.

A senior Twitter manager who has called for jailing and impeaching President Trump and slammed the White House social media chief with four-letter slurs is raising concerns that the platform isn’t serious about policing hate posts.

Twitter Senior Engineering Manager Ian Brown’s tweets have assailed Trump, White House social media chief Dan Scavino Jr., top aide Stephen Miller, GOP lawmakers including Sen. Rand Paul, and supporters like Turning Point USA chief Charlie Kirk.

In a recent tweet he suggested that restaurant workers were tampering with Eric Trump’s food, after the president’s son said he was spit on at a Chicago eatery. “If @EricTrump is upset about getting spit on by a restaurant employee, I have some bad news about the food and drinks he’s being served,” Brown tweeted June 26.

Scavino wrote on Twitter: “These are the kind of people we’re up against @Twitter!”

Scavino also retweeted another post that said: “’Disinformation’ is the new disinformation. We’re seeing an intentional and coordinated effort by established gatekeepers to equate political speech they don’t like with the entirely separate categories of doctored deep fakes, illegal content, and deceptive cheap fakes.”

Biden often struggles on the campaign trail, making verbal gaffes. In one, while he was campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa, he said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” He corrected himself and said, “wealthy people, black kids, Asian kids.”

In his latest speech, he said, “If you want to nominate a proud Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, an O’Biden Bama Democrat, join us.”