Facebook Official Drops the Hammer on Dems Wanting 'Fake' Pelosi Video Removed


If you know one thing about President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday, it’s that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of the address in full view of the cameras from her perch behind the president.

If you know a second thing about the State of the Union address, it’s that the president used it as a vehicle for a number of moving stories — including salutes to a Tuskegee Airman, the family of a fallen police officer and a young girl who wanted to escape a failing school.

The conservative activist group Turning Point USA decided to juxtapose these two things, showing the emotional stories and then showing, repeatedly, Nancy Pelosi ripping up the speech.

Anyone who would see this would logically know there were only so many times she ripped up the speech — namely, one — and that the occasion probably didn’t happen after Trump saluted a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman. It was obviously an attempt to synthesize the two differing visions of the speech in a short video, something no one looking at it would have thought was happening in real time.

The president retweeted the video, however, and that’s exactly why Nancy Pelosi’s staff tried to have the video removed from social media.

Watch: Trump Defies Crowd, Takes On Libertarians at Their Own Convention After They Viciously Boo Him

Here it is, in all its glory:

Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s chief of staff, took to Twitter to lambaste social media organizations for not taking down the “fake” clip.

Do you think Facebook should ban political advertising?

“The American people know that the President has no qualms about lying to them – but it is a shame to see Twitter and Facebook, sources of news for millions, do the same,” he wrote in a Friday tweet.

“The latest fake video of Speaker Pelosi is deliberately designed to mislead and lie to the American people, and every day that these platforms refuse to take it down is another reminder that they care more about their shareholders’ interests than the public’s interests.”

This prompted a clap-back response from Facebook policy communications manager Andy Stone, who wrote:

Nancy Pelosi Has Her Big Moment Interrupted by Screaming Protester: 'Welcome to San Francisco'

“Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn’t make those remarks and the Speaker didn’t rip the speech?” tweeted Stone — a veteran of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democrat California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s team, just in case you needed to know where his politics are.

Stone then pointed Hammill to Facebook’s policy on banning “manipulated media.”

That guide lays out two criteria for banning said media:

  • “It has been edited or synthesized – beyond adjustments for clarity or quality – in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And:
  • “It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.”

This didn’t sit well with Hammill, who apparently didn’t read the guidelines:

It’s good to see Drew Hammill doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for American voters, who he thinks are going to be deceived by this. It’d all be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Twitter has banned political advertising and Democrats are pressuring Facebook to do the same — in part because the Republicans in general and the Trump campaign in particular have a distinct advantage in social media advertising strategy.

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly threatened to break up big tech and, as NPR reported, ran a deliberately faked ad to protest the fact that Facebook has, she claims, “repeatedly fumbled their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Meanwhile, at one of those interminable CNN town hall meetings in New Hampshire on Thursday, entrepreneur and Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang said he would consider legislating against “fake” campaign ads from appearing on social media.

“Mark [Zuckerberg], your company is contributing to the disintegration of our democracy,” Yang said, according to the Daily Wire, addressing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“If you’re an American and a patriot, and you care about the country your kids will inherit, then you need to have Facebook step up and say there will not be untrue political ads on your platform.”

When asked to clarify: “Well, my first preference is to sit down with a major organization like Facebook and say, ‘hey, do the right thing.’ But if they don’t want to do the right thing, then we have a legislature for a reason,” Yang said.

“We should just pass a law saying Facebook should not have verifiably false political advertisements on their platform. And if they do, then they should pay a penalty accordingly.”

So, “do what we say or we’ll legislate that way anyhow.” Try this one if you’re a Republican and see how many ugly news cycles you have to endure.

And just in case you didn’t grasp the subtext of this, given the execrably liberal state of fact-checking at social media organizations — including Facebook — guess which ads are going to be deemed “verifiably false political advertisements”?

Warren’s chances are fading and all those blue-cap emojis from the “Yang Gang” on Twitter don’t seem to be materializing into actual polling numbers, so neither of these individuals will likely be in a position to carry out any of this directly.

However, losing Democratic candidates can often serve as incubators for bad ideas — and this is an awfully popular awful idea right now, particularly if it isn’t Joe Biden that wins the nomination.

If things go south for Trump and Republicans in November, then, I can guarantee you this: Andy Stone won’t exactly be in a position to clap back like this if someone with Andrew Yang’s mindset decides to sit down and have a chat with him and his boss.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture