Embattled tech giant Twitter decided against slapping a warning label on a video posted by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s Twitter account Monday.
The video in question was put together by Biden’s campaign, and heavily edits comments made by President Donald Trump and splices them together to make him appear to say he is “failing at managing the coronavirus outbreak.”
The video is an obvious parody and uses snippets from different speeches, on different dates, to manipulate Trump into speaking a message that the Biden campaign would like voters to believe.
Donald Trump is running TV ads taking Dr. Fauci out of context and without his permission.
So, here’s a message from the President in his own words. pic.twitter.com/WCYbIfrQLR
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 12, 2020
Relatively speaking, the ad is somewhat smirk-inducing.
The Biden campaign, and indeed the majority of Democrats, though, are incapable of humor.
It’s challenging to make people smile when you lack a genuine passion for laughter, and there is a checklist of criteria that must be met prior to telling jokes when different portions of the oft-offended Democratic base might become indignant.
Comedy for Democrats is a minefield.
They can’t compete with Trump’s massive army of online volunteer surrogates and meme-makers, so in that spirit, the Biden ad is mildly successful.
The only complaint here, aside from the Democrats making light of a pandemic that is off-limits from non-gloomy commentary, per the left’s prevailing rhetoric promoting hopelessness, is that Twitter didn’t alert its users that the video is manipulated.
They shouldn’t have to, as the video’s editing is obvious.
But Twitter regularly labels similar videos shared by conservatives with warnings, and sometimes deletes them.
Since Twitter is now apparently in the business of editorializing, moderating and purging content, it would only be fair if the Silicon Valley tech giant applied the same standard to Biden’s use of manipulated media that it does with conservatives, including the president.
Conservatives often create and share content online that is obviously edited, and definitely hilarious.
Sometimes, Trump shares that content with his 87 million followers.
This manipulated video, for example, was shared in June by Trump, and was great for a quick laugh:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
Are you having trouble viewing it? That stands to reason.
It was purged from Twitter following a copyright complaint, which happened shortly after Twitter labeled it as “manipulated media.”
The New York Times reported on the tweet that Twitter deleted on behalf of Trump:
“Mr. Trump’s tweet, which he posted earlier on Thursday, featured a video of two toddlers running down a sidewalk. The video had been altered to appear as if CNN had broadcast it, along with a fake chyron that claimed, ‘Racist baby probably a Trump voter.’ The video went on to accuse ‘fake news’ of stoking misinformation.
The meme’s maker, a popular user by the handle @CarpeDonktum, has since been kicked off Twitter permanently, Fox News reported.
It’s tough being a conservative on social media.
But what about this video shared on the site by Trump campaign operative Dan Scavino:
Sleepy Joe💤in St. Louis, Missouri today:
— Dan Scavino🇺🇸🦅 (@DanScavino) March 8, 2020
It’s a clip shared from March 7 in which Biden, with no editing, gaffes his way into saying, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”
The only complaint that would be valid is that the video is short, and Biden’s bumbling correction afterward was not included.
Other than that, the video is authentic, and Biden did indeed say that.
Still, Twitter warns users the video is “manipulated media,” despite no obvious manipulation.
Twitter warned of the video, “A video circulated that appeared to show Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calling to re-elect Trump during a speech on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri. Journalists from The New York Times, CNN and Politico pointed out that the clip is edited in a misleading way.”
The company actually had to explain that Biden, in his heart of hearts, doesn’t want to see Trump re-elected.
So, Scavino’s sharing of a partial video is considered manipulated, while an obviously manipulated video shared by Biden’s online team is not marked in the same manner in which pro-Trump videos are.
In the spirit of fairness, you’d think Twitter would apply its “manipulated media” warnings evenhandedly.
But of course, it is Twitter, so the side catching all the breaks happen to be Democrats.
No shock there.
Perhaps Twitter has spotted the Democrats’ weakness in digital campaigning and comedy, and are attempting to give them a leg up.
Democrats aren’t funny people, and so in the absence of competition, Twitter is apparently leveling the playing field for its humorless, unenthusiastic friends by mandating that many forms of comedy, namely posts shared by Trump supporters, are not allowed on the platform.
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