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If Your Time is short
The video plays a snippet of a Biden speech about the potential for Trump’s re-election.
Biden’s full remarks showed that he stumbled in his campaign speech but that he was calling for Democratic Party unity.
Trump retweeted the deceptively edited video. Twitter used its new policy to label the video as “manipulated media.”
President Donald Trump shared a deceptively edited video that made it appear former Vice President Joe Biden supported Trump’s re-election.
For the first time, Twitter applied its new policy and labeled the video as "manipulated media," though it could still be viewed on Twitter without the warning label.
On March 7, Dan Scavino, an assistant to Trump and the White House’s director of social media, tweeted a 13-second video of Biden speaking at a campaign event in Missouri:
"Sleepy Joe in St. Louis, Missouri today: ‘We can only re-elect @realDonaldTrump.’"
The video tweet was viewed more than 6 million times and drew retweets from Trump.
I agree with Joe! https://t.co/h84mD7jVPW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020
By cutting what Biden said before and after this clip, the video distorts the meaning of what Biden said.
We contacted the White House and did not get a response. Scavino tweeted March 9 that "the video was NOT manipulated."
Biden was speaking in Kansas City (not St. Louis, as Scavino said) on March 7 when he made the speech in question.
Biden clearly stumbled over his words as he spoke during part of the speech. But it’s clear that he wasn’t calling for Trump to get re-elected. (Start at the 9:30-mark for a full minute to listen.) Biden’s point was to call on Democrats to unite as a party and avoid attacks on each other to aim to defeat Trump.
"If you want a nominee who will beat Donald Trump, keep the House of Representatives and elect the Senate, help me out. If you want a nominee who is a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat, join us. If you want a nominee who will bring this party together, who will run a progressive, positive campaign and turn this primary from a campaign that’s about negative attacks into one about what we are for, because we cannot get re-elect, we cannot win this re-election. Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It's got to be a positive campaign. So join us. Folks, we are building a coalition…"
Speaking in St. Louis earlier in the day, Biden made the same point without stumbling over his words:
"If you want a nominee who will bring the party together, who will run a positive, progressive vision for the future — not turn this primary into a campaign of negative attacks because that will only re-elect Donald Trump if we go that route."
Twitter added the label of "manipulated media" to the Scavino tweet on March 8 under a new policy. The policy applies to synthetic and manipulated media including videos, audio and images.
The "manipulated media" warning beneath the tweet was not showing up in tweet detail, but it is visible in the timeline. Twitter said it was working on a fix.
"Fact-checkers rated this video as partly false, so we are reducing its distribution and showing warning labels with more context for people who see it, try to share it, or already have," Facebook said in a statement. "As we announced last year, the same applies if a politician shares the video, if it was otherwise fact-checked when shared by others on Facebook."
A White House video showed 13 seconds of Biden speaking at a campaign event when he said "we can only re-elect Donald Trump."
Biden did make that statement as he stumbled over his words. But the video snippet omitted what Biden said immediately before and after, which removes his meaning.
Biden’s overall point was to call for Democratic Party unity and to run a positive campaign, rather than intra-party attacks. The video stripped that out.
The video employs deceptive editing via omission. We rate it Mostly False.
Dan Scavino, Tweet, March 7, 2020
Dan Scavino, Tweet, March 9, 2020
Charlie Kirk, Tweet, March 8, 2020
President Donald Trump, Tweet, March 7, 2020
KCTV5, Joe Biden speech in Kansas City, March 7, 2020
C-SPAN, Joe Biden speech in St. Louis, March 7, 2020
Twitter, Synthetic and manipulated media policy, February 2020
Twitter blog, Building rules in public: Our approach to synthetic & manipulated media, Feb. 4, 2020
Washington Post, Twitter flags video retweeted by President Trump as ‘manipulated media’ March 8, 2020
New York Times, Manipulated Biden Video Escalates Online Speech War With Trump, March 9, 2020
CNN, Fact check: Trump and his campaign promote dishonestly edited Biden video, March 8, 2020
Washington Post, Deceptive editing, 2020
Lead Stories, Fact Check: Joe Biden Did NOT Endorse Donald Trump In Edited Video, March 8, 2020
Dan Scavino Jr. Facebook post, March 8, 2020
Email interview, Facebook media relations, March 9, 2020
Email interview, Katie Rosborough, twitter spokeswoman, March 8, 2020
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