A doctored video that makes Nancy Pelosi appear drunk went viral on Facebook — again (FB)

  • A video of Nancy Pelosi that has been manipulated to make her appear intoxicated went viral on Facebook over the weekend.
  • Facebook declined to remove the video, but attached a fact-check label that marks the video as “partly false.”
  • Both Twitter and YouTube removed versions of the video on their platforms, CNN reported.
  • In 2019, a different fake video of Pelosi went viral on Facebook, which the company also declined to remove but marked with a fact-check label, drawing condemnation from Pelosi’s staff.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A fake video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to make her appear intoxicated went viral on Facebook over the weekend, racking up more than 2 million views and 91,000 shares.

The platform applied a fact-check label to the video noting that it is “partly false” Sunday, but declined to remove the video, CNN first reported. The fact-check label means the video is still viewable but will be promoted less by Facebook’s algorithms.

It’s the second time such a video of Pelosi has gone viral on the platform. Another video that was similarly edited and slowed down to make Pelosi appear drunk was shared widely on Facebook in May 2019, after which Pelosi slammed Facebook as “willing enablers” of misinformation.

The doctored video doesn’t make Pelosi appear to say words that she didn’t say — rather, the footage is spliced and slowed to make it look like Pelosi took long pauses between words and slurred her speech. Visual forensic expert Hany Farid reviewed the video and told CNN that it’s been edited and slowed down.

Twitter and YouTube both removed versions of the video over the weekend following CNN’s reporting.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider that the doctored Pelosi video was not removed over the weekend because it didn’t meet the company’s criteria for “manipulated media” that would warrant a removal, like videos that make someone appear to say words they didn’t say or deepfakes made using AI. 

“Following an incident over a year ago with a previous video of Speaker Pelosi, we took a number of key steps, making it very clear to people on Facebook when a third-party fact-checker determines content to be false and updating our policy to make explicit the kind of manipulated media we will remove. And, as always, when a video is determined false, its distribution is dramatically reduced and people who see it, try to share it, or have already shared it, see warnings alerting them that it’s false,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Pelosi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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