Several House Democrats are demanding that Facebook and Twitter remove an edited video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ripping up a copy of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address — but so far, both platforms are refusing to censor the clip.
What are the details?
The video was released by a Turning Point USA Facebook and Instagram channel. In a press release announcing its refusal to pull down the content, the organization described the clip as "juxtaposing the human stories highlighted by the president with the Speaker's highly publicized act of ripping the president's speech in two."
According to TPUSA, the video had been viewed more than 20 million times as of Monday. Last week, Donald Trump Jr. pinned the video to his Twitter feed, and President Trump retweeted it over the weekend.
Pelosi ripped up @realDonaldTrump's speech last night. In that speech were stories of American Heroes & American D… https://t.co/9pkz5HxQId— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1580953952.0
Democrats claim the video is "deceptively altered" because Speaker Pelosi only ripped up the president's speech once after it was completed, and they are demanding that the video be censored.
CBS News noted that Speaker Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, wrote on Twitter, "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."
Hammill added, "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."
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, responded, "Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn't make those remarks and the Speaker didn't rip the speech?" to which Hammill fired back, "What planet are you living on? this is deceptively altered. take it down."
@Drew_Hammill Sorry, are you suggesting the President didn't make those remarks and the Speaker didn't rip the speech?— Andy Stone (@Andy Stone)1581097299.0
A number of Democratic lawmakers also chimed in personally urging for the viral video to be taken down by social media platforms.
Fox News pointed out that Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) wrote on Twitter, "This video is clearly another deceptive effort by @realDonaldTrump to mislead and manipulate the American people." Rep. Escobar went on to ask Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to "show your commitment to cut down on the misinformation corroding our nation and take down this fake video."
Another Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Don Beyer (Va.), wrote, "If I posted a doctored video it would be a clear violation of House Rules. Twitter should take this down."
Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) added, "Social media platforms are a place where people come for news and information. They need to have certain standards. Falsity has never been part of our 1st Amendment tradition."
.@Twitter must take this misleading video about @SpeakerPelosi down now. Social media platforms are a place where… https://t.co/OKSFgNUytd— Rep. Ro Khanna (@Rep. Ro Khanna)1581098292.0
TPUSA founder and president Charlie Kirk issued a statement saying, "This is cancel culture coming to Congress. Our Turning Point USA production team had the brilliant idea to make a visually moving clip of what Speaker Pelosi was ripping up when she tore up the president's speech.
"There was absolutely nothing deceptive about the video. We've been surprised, and frankly horrified, by the many Democrats calling for censorship including from the speaker's own office. Thankfully, many patriots have come out and reposted the video including the president. Needless to say, we will not be pulling the video and the Speaker's misguided attempts at silencing us have had the exact opposite effect."