Twitter Calls Out Trump Tweet of Doctored 'Racist Baby' Video as Manipulated Media
The social media company said Trump's tweet of doctored "racist baby" video was designed to mislead.
Twitter labeled a "racist baby" tweet posted by President Trump as manipulated media that contained images designed to mislead. It was the third time the social media platform has acted against Trump in recent weeks over posts that were not factual.
The altered video was posted late Thursday by the president. It showed a black toddler running from a white toddler and was manipulated to look like a CNN broadcast, along with a fake caption that claimed, “Racist baby probably a Trump voter.”
The video also accused “fake news” of stoking misinformation.
CNN was quick to hit back. "CNN did cover this story - but exactly as it happened. Just as CNN has reported your positions on race (and your poll numbers). We'll continue working with facts and invite you to do the same, rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. Be better," reads a post from a company spokesperson.
The doctored video was credited to @CarpeDonktum, which frequently publishes memes and parody videos supporting Trump. The images came from a video posted last year, which immediately went viral, by the father of one of the little boys as a celebration of racial unity.
The legitimate footage shows two joyous toddlers, one Black and one white, joyously running towards each other and hugging in delight. The boys are friends, the father said.
Dad Michael Cisneros said at the time he wanted to share the candid moment as an antidote to racism.
"The reason that it's getting attention [is] because it is with a little Black boy and a little white boy. ... But if it can change someone's mind, you know, or just change their view on things, then it's totally worth it," he said.
Responding to Trump's use of the video on Thursday night, an angry Cisneros wrote in a Facebook post, "HE WILL NOT TURN THIS LOVING, BEAUTIFUL VIDEO TO FURTHER HIS HATE AGENDA‼️‼️‼️‼️"
Twitter added the warning late Thursday, after it had been viewed nearly four million times. Its label included an exclamation point, and called the post "manipulated media."
Company policy prohibits posts that “have been deceptively altered or fabricated” to deceive and contain potentially harmful claims.
It is the latest salvo in a war of words between Trump and Twitter after the platform tagged two presidential tweets in recent weeks that prompted the president to sign an executive order targeting social media companies.
In May, Twitter advised that a tweet about mail-in ballots in California contained unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Days later, Twitter labeled a post that said "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," which Trump shared after some protests against police brutality were marred by property destruction and theft.
Earlier Thursday, Facebook removed ads from the Trump re-election campaign that featured a symbol that closely resembled a mark used by Nazis to classify political prisoners during World War II. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said, “The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa.”
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