Twitter has stood accused of a liberal bias for years now, having unduly censored prominent political voices from the right side of the aisle – including a number of actions taken against President Trump himself.
The Commander in Chief’s beef with the social media giant has been largely marked by the addition of “manipulated media” tags, purportedly added to let users know when a video has been edited or taken out of context. This is a vastly different approach than other platforms such as Facebook, who have allowed paid advertisements by Trump and others to remain unmolested.
The latest flap in this “fake news” saga comes as 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign released a new advertisement in which audio of the President was spliced together to give the impression that Trump believes that the coronavirus is somehow a hoax.
The Trump campaign on Tuesday asked Twitter to label a video posted by Joe Biden’s campaign as manipulated media over a clip that they say takes President Trump’s words out of context and has been repeatedly fact-checked as incorrect manipulation, but the company declined to do so, according to emails obtained by Fox News.
The video purports to contrast what Trump says in public versus in private on the coronavirus, accusing him of lying to the public. One of the examples of Trump’s public comments in the video is from a Feb. 28 campaign rally at which Trump appears to be calling the coronavirus a hoax.
“The coronavirus, and this is their new hoax,” Trump is heard saying in the Biden video.
This was the deceiving part.
The splicing is identical to how the Biden campaign cut a video of the Feb. 28 address in a March video that got four Pinnochios from the Washington Post, and was panned by several other fact-checkers.
The president did not say “this is their new hoax” immediately after he said “coronavirus” in his original comments, as the ad makes it appear. He made the hoax comment several sentences later. Trump was still talking about the coronavirus when he said the “hoax” part of the comment, but it was in reference to the media and how it covered his impeachment trial.
The Post took issue with the edit, saying that it was misleading. Trump has misled about his administration’s response to the coronavirus, the Post claimed, “But that does not excuse this kind of video manipulation. This is a clear example of deceptive editing, specifically what we label ‘omission.'”
Seeing Twitter’s naked bias so thoroughly on display is disturbing, to say the least, especially as we move ever nearer to the already-fraught 2020 election.
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