Sen. Cruz on Doctored Pelosi Video: ‘Free Speech Is Messy’


Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas suggested Monday that a manipulated video posted online recently of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is likely a free speech matter.

“At the end of the day free speech is messy,” Cruz told The Washington Post, referring to a doctored viral video published in May that is designed to make the California Democrat appear drunk.

“If something is fraudulent, I think that’s a basis for taking something down,” Cruz added.

The Texas Republican did not elaborate on whether the video was fraudulent.

His comments contrast from those made Democrats and media pundits, who urged Facebook and Twitter to nix the video.

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Both companies refused, with Facebook arguing that the company does not have a policy requiring content to be factual.

Tech experts have long been worried that so-called “deepfakes” — or AI-manipulated videos, audio and photos designed to stir up mayhem and change people’s perceptions.

Researchers have even created a type of software designed to create such deepfake videos.

But the majority of the manipulations have been low-tech in nature, experts say.

Do you think Facebook should have removed the doctored video of Pelosi from its platform?

Various celebrities and pundits complained after Facebook executive Monika Bickert told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in May that the company decided dinging the video was the wrong move.

Facebook believes providing users with accurate information is more important, Bickert said at the time.

Anyone who either sees the video is told that the video is deceptively doctored, she told Cooper.

Cooper, for his part, pressed her on why Facebook has the ability to eliminate more than 3 billion phony accounts but not one false video.

The Daily Beast later identified the man allegedly behind the video as Shawn Brooks, a black labor worker who runs multiple Facebook pages.

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He denied responsibility for creating the altered video and claimed that there were other admins on Facebook pages who could have posted it.

Cruz believes that Facebook, Twitter and other Silicon Valley giants are systematically biased against conservatives.

His office has not yet provided a comment to The Daily Caller News Foundation about whether the video should be removed.

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