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Twitter used its first “manipulated media” label in a political tweet – here’s what it looks like

The tweet comes from the White House’s social media director.

Twitter logo with twitter feed in background
Image: KnowTechie

If you are an avid social media user, you’ve undoubtedly seen where companies like Facebook and Twitter are trying to crack down on an influx of fake and altered media, with much of the focus on that of political messages.

Now, it seems Twitter has made use of its new manipulated media tag, using it to flag a post from the White House’s social media director, which was then retweeted by Donald Trump. The video in question, one of Joe Biden, is edited to make it looks like he supports the re-election of Trump (or something, who knows what the point was, Scavino’s Twitter feed is an illegible jumble of Trump support and conspiracy theories) and frames him as “Sleepy Joe.”

The Washington Post states that this is the first time Twitter has used the new tag.

The video posted by Scavino ends with “We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” while the actual statement from Biden ends with “We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.” Was it framed weirdly from Biden? Sure, but he’s talked about that before.

As of this morning, the tweet does not show the manipulated media tag for me, but our own Kevin Raposo saw the tag yesterday (but does not see it this morning, begging even more questions). The Washington Post’s Cat Zakrzewski notes that the “warning is not showing up in the Tweet detail right now, but it is in individuals’ timelines. The company is working on a fix.”

Trump supporters are, of course, spinning this into saying it’s not manipulated media, but that is such a ridiculous argument that I doubt (/hope) these people don’t really believe that. Sure, it’s not manipulated in terms of a deepfake, but the video is cut off (and Scavino’s tweet) implies that its meaning is different from the actual, intended meaning. Sounds pretty manipulative to me.

What do you think? Should Twitter label manipulative media (or media it deems manipulative)? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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