A video shared by Trump has become the first post to be labeled under ‘manipulated media’ by Twitter. The company recently made a few changes to its policy and regulations, where they cited, “any media that deliberately and significantly alters and is deceptive” will be marked as ‘manipulated.’ This policy was revealed last month, and to date, no such post was marked as manipulative.
The media in question is footage of Joe Biden, a Democratic Presidential candidate. The footage is altered in such a way that it appears Joe Biden, who was giving a speech in Kansas City on a Saturday, was endorsing Trump for re-election. But that is not true as an unedited version of it has also been released. The edited manipulated video was initially tweeted by Dan Scavino, who is the Director of Social Media in the White House.
In the video, it can be seen Joe Biden clearly stating, “Excuse me? We can only re-elect Donald Trump”. But the sentence was cut short. What Joe Biden said was, “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump if we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign”. The video started appearing in the feeds of some users by Sunday and soon had taken over the internet before it got labeled as ‘manipulative media.’
Twitter released its new policy draft on manipulative media last November. The draft clearly stated that it was made after taking the feedback of several users and through various consultations with field experts like the Reuters Institute, Witness, and Researchers of New York University. There previously had been many cases involving deceptive manipulation of media on Twitter, and the company was ready to take a stand against it to protect its users from falsified information.
The algorithm scans through Metadata of each media, the context of each tweet, and also goes through the public information of the user account in question. In case, the algorithm finds unauthentic data. It will immediately mark the media as ‘manipulative’ without further consideration.
This step taken by Twitter was a must as the company had been receiving a lot of flask and criticism by democrats for not taking a stand against harassment and bullying on social media. Trump had been posting manipulative media for a long time to encourage his election campaign. The Democrats also requested Twitter to remove Trump from Twitter after he was found sharing media, to intimate people, and any anyone involved in the impeachment investigation that has been going on against him.
Not only this, but Trump was also found posting tweets deliberately to provoke the Kim Jong-un, the Korean Leader for a nuclear war. It did not go down well with many of twitter users as Trump even mentioned ‘World War III’ in some of his tweets.
With so many ongoing investigations against Trump, and being at the receiving end of criticism, Twitter created its ‘manipulative media’ policy. The policy is aimed at putting a stop on influential personalities from spreading false information or editing and falsifying a certain event. Not only prominent personalities, but the algorithm has also been applied all over twitter and will be keeping a close eye on posts aimed towards deliberate manipulation.
Facebook, on the other hand, has taken no such labeling steps, but they have the option for reporting a post as false or fake. If the post is found to be hurting the sentiments of people, is based on religion, or is made to intimidate political difference, the post or media is immediately removed, with the user account getting suspended for 24 to 48 hours. In case the account continues to post deliberately the same media, the user account will be blocked indefinitely without further consideration.
The entire Facebook Reporting process is based on the Artificial and Machine Learning Technique. It has no manual effort, and the same applies to Twitter. Whether other social handles like Reddit will implement such policies is unknown, as the company has released no such statements. According to a few Reddit users, regulations need to be mandated in the platform, as various threads question the integrity of the company against harassment and cyber bullying.
The ‘manipulated media’ posted by Trump has still not been taken down and is available on Twitter. Why the company chooses not to remove such media like Facebook, or to hide it, has not been commented upon.
Image source: Tech-crunch