Facebook says it will continue to host a Nancy Pelosi video that has been modified to give the impression that the Speaker of the Democratic Chamber is drunk or sick, in the last episode that highlights his struggle to face the disinformation.
The viral clip shows Pelosi – who has publicly irritated Donald Trump in recent days – speaking at an event, but was slowed to give the impression that she is insulting his words.
The president's personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was among Trump's supporters who promoted the story. He tweeted – then deleted – a link to a copy of the video on Facebook with the caption: "What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her way of talking is bizarre."
Despite the apparently evil intent of the video creator, Facebook has stated that it will only reduce its visibility in user newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact-checking site, pointing out that the clip is misleading. Consequently, even if it is less likely to be seen by chance, the doctoral video will continue to collect points of view. Facebook took the initiative only after investigations by the Washington Post, which first reported the story.
In recent years, concerns have been raised about the impact of "deep fake" videos, in which artificial intelligence technology is used to create disturbing and realistic videos. However, the Pelosi video shows that a low-tech approach can be successful. The clip, edited by an unknown producer, seems to have been created simply by slowing down the raw footage – something that can be done in just a few seconds on most smartphones.
A version of the video, which remains live on a Facebook page entitled "Politics WatchDog", has been viewed millions of times, attracting speculative comments about Pelosi's health, the alleged use of drugs and other apparent disorders.
The viral success of crudely produced video highlights the challenges in combating online misinformation when people are willing to share material that supports their political views, even when it is accompanied by warnings.
The administrator of the Politics WatchDog page asked readers to remove the video, with most voting to stay online. They defended the decision to keep the video live, insisting that "it is a free country".
"The factual independent controllers that Facebook uses are liberal and financed by the left," added Politics WatchDog, insisting that the decision to upload the video was simply to allow the public to reach their own conclusions: "Just for the record , we never claimed that the speaker Pelosi was drunk. We can't control what people think in the comments. "
A Facebook spokesman said: "C & # 39; is a tension here: we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging freedom of expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of non-authentic content is such as to be balanced. But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn't mean it should be distributed. In other words, we allow people to publish it as a form of expression, but we won't show it at the top of the news feed. "