The 2020 presidential election could face a number of possible complications, from Russian hacking efforts to the coronavirus. But most important among them is the possibility of extensive misinformation and the incapability of tech companies to stop its spread. Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook are told to confront the issue over the weekend, as a manipulated video of Democratic front-runner Joe Biden gained steam after being shared by President Donald Trump Twitter responded by putting out its newly-announced misinformation policy for the first time by flagging the tweet, and Facebook followed this soon after. But as the companies responded to the deliberate misinformation, they also revealed their limitations in taking on these manipulated contents.
The flagged video, which was first tweeted on Saturday by White House social media director Dan Scavino and later posted on Trump twitter account, shows Biden seemingly speaking out at a campaign rally in favor of the current president he’s trying to beat. We can only re-elect Donald Trump, Joe says before the video cuts off. But the video was selectively edited to change the nature of Joe’s remarks, which were actually anticipated to accentuate the necessity of unifying the Democratic base. “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Trump if in fact we get affianced in this circular firing squad here,” Biden actually said in the statement. It’s got to be a positive campaign. After announcing that in February that it would now label manipulated video, like deepfakes or selectively edited content, Twitter responded to Scavino’s tweet by putting the policy in action for the first time by labeling the video as manipulated media.
Twitter’s move against the video was a first time action, as the company typically has taken a hands-off policy when it comes to what the president Trump Twitter account has posted. But the video have already made damage: The video had more than five million views and retweeted more than 20,000 times before it was flagged by twitter. Whereas Twitter says the manipulated video label already appeared when the tweet was first seen by Users and it certainly does not appear when the tweet is searched directly, ensuring that many who see the tweet will not receive any warning about its manipulated content.
Facebook at first refused to remove or flag the video on its platform, immediately drawing rage to Biden campaign. It is also an unconscionable act of putting their companies profit above not just The United States, but every country.” This isn’t the first time the tech giant has come under fire for its functioning on anti-Biden misinformation from the Trump’s presidential campaign, after previously garnering criticism for refusing to take down a Biden attack ad relying on false information during Trump’s impeachment. While the issue of spreading propaganda has gathered the most attention when it comes to the presidential election, other recent incidents are also showing how the problem can have dangerous, real-world ramifications beyond who’s elected as president Of the US. There was also Trump Twitter campaign ads that spread disinformation about the 2020 census, with ads that directed them to a fundraising page for Trump’s re-election.