Donald Trump tried to turn Nancy Pelosi's blow to his advantage – which did not please the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives at all, who asked Facebook and Twitter to act – to no avail .
On Wednesday, February 5, the President of the United States delivered the traditional State of the Union address. In the camera field, just behind him, is Nancy Pelosi. At the end of the speech, she ostensibly tears up the text of the speech she is holding. The image goes around the world.
The next day, Donald Trump published on social networks a video aimed at criticizing this media gesture. entitled “Powerful American stories reduced to pieces by Nancy Pelosi”, it lasts five minutes and contains several extracts from the speech. We see, among other things, Donald Trump paying tribute to American soldiers, welcoming the drop in unemployment among African-Americans, announcing to a young girl that she will have a scholarship for her studies and revealing to a woman in tears that her military husband is back from the field, all accompanied by tearful music.
Each of these sequences is punctuated by the image of Nancy Pelosi tearing apart the speech of the American president. The message Donald Trump wants to get across is clear: by tearing up the entire text, Nancy Pelosi also denies these moments.
” A shame “
For the Pelosi clan, the content of this video is a lie and manipulation. “Americans know the president has no qualms about lying to them – but it's a shame to see Twitter and Facebook, where millions of people learn, do the same”, took offense Drew Hammill, Nancy Pelosi's chief of staff. “This fake Nancy Pelosi video is designed to deceive and lie to the Americans”, he assures. “By leaving it online, these platforms remind us again that they are more interested in the interests of their shareholders than those of citizens. “
Nancy Pelosi's cabinet points out, for example, that the Democrat stood up and applauded during the tribute to Charles McGee, the last remaining pilot of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American airmen from the second World War. While the montage published by Donald Trump shows her tearing the speech down, deplored the cabinet, can be read on the website of the American chain CNBC.
Neither Facebook, where the video garnered more than 3 million views, nor Twitter (nearly 10 million) agreed to remove the video. Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, posted an acid response to Drew Hammill: “Excuse me, pretend that the president did not say these words and that [Nancy Pelosi] didn’t tear the speech apart? “ Before specifying: “If I ask you if the things that appear in this video did indeed exist, it is because this is central to our rules that govern this type of content. “
Rules on tampered videos
Facebook, whose rules on false information are particularly scrutinized in this year of the US presidential election, had clarified in January its policy on videos “Trafficked and misleading”. Facebook then committed to delete them if they had been “edited (…) so as to make it seem like someone has said words that they never actually said. ” The social network stressed that it was also necessary that the author of the video knowingly tried to pass it off as authentic. The criteria are therefore not met, according to Facebook, to delete the video published by Donald Trump. “What planet do you live on?” “, got carried away Andy Stone. “This video has been tampered with in order to deceive. Delete it. “
Twitter also refused to ban the video. Its regulations will, however, soon change. The social network recently announced that from March 5, new rules would prohibit certain “Tampered videos”, based on three criteria: “Has the video been significantly tampered with?” “,” Was it shared in such a way as to make it appear to be true? “, “Can its content have an impact on public safety or cause serious damage?” “
Nancy Pelosi’s team had already been scalded last year by a tampered video of the Democrat. We saw her during a public speech speak slowly and articulate with difficulty, like drunk – the video had in fact been slowed down in order to generate this effect.
“If Nancy Pelosi fears the images of her tearing up the speech, then it is that she should not have torn up the speech”quipped Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for the Donald Trump campaign, in the columns of New york times Saturday. His team also told the American daily that this video was also clearly a travesty.
As the US elections approach, the way in which the rules will be applied by the platforms will be severely tested, some of which are still relatively unclear and subject to interpretation.