Twitter added a ‘manipulated media’ label on a video posted on US President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed on Thursday that showed a doctored news clip with a mis-spelled banner flashing “Terrified todler runs from racist baby.”
The original video, which went viral on social media in 2019, showed a black toddler and a white toddler running towards each other and hugging. It was published with the headline “These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like” on CNN’s website last year.
The clip shared in Trump’s tweet first shows the part where one of those toddlers is seen running ahead of the other. At one point the banner reads: “Racist baby probably a Trump voter”.
The tweeted video, with more than 7.7 million views and 1,25,000 retweets, then goes on to show the original video and concludes : “America is not the problem. Fake news is.”
“We may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context,” Twitter says in an explanation of its policies posted on its website.
Twitter has been under fierce scrutiny from the Trump administration since it fact-checked Trump’s tweets about unsubstantiated claims of mail-in voting fraud. It also labelled a Trump tweet about protests in Minneapolis as “glorifying violence.”
The president, who has battled Twitter and other tech companies over alleged censorship of conservative voices on social media platforms, said in late May he would propose legislation to potentially scrap or weaken the law shielding Internet companies, in an extraordinary attempt to regulate outlets where he has been criticised.
© Thomson Reuters 2020