Twitter has once again slapped a disclaimer on one of President Donald Trump’s tweets Thursday night, informing users that the leader of the free world violated the platform’s policy on manipulated media.
Trump tweeted a doctored version of a 2019 viral video that shows two toddlers, one Black and one white, hugging.
CNN previously covered the video as an adorable, candid moment that might serve as a balm for a nation plagued by racism and hate.
The manipulated video begins with the white toddler chasing the Black toddler down the sidewalk, as tense music plays in the background. A phony CNN headline reads, “Terrified Toddler Runs from Racist Baby,” and then, “Racist Baby Probably a Trump Voter.”
The doctored clip then cuts to the original video to show “what actually happened” and fades out with a message ripped straight from Trump’s re-election campaign. “America is not the problem. Fake news is. If you see something, say something.”
Writer and comedian Sarah Cooper summed up the mental gymnastics involved in sharing such a doctored video in a reply to Trump: “I guess complaining about fake news while sharing fake news about fake news is that next level 4D chess everyone’s talking bout.”
Trump’s tweet violated Twitter’s synthetic and manipulated media policy, which the platform implemented in March to limit users from sharing “deceptively altered media on Twitter in ways that mislead or deceive people about the media’s authenticity where threats to physical safety or other serious harm may result.”
Twitter previously added the label to a video of Joe Biden posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino, which was edited to seem like Biden endorsed Trump for reelection.
The “manipulated media” sticker has apparently done nothing to limit the visibility of Trump’s tweet. As of this Friday morning, the video had accumulated more than 15 million views. The video also remains unlabeled on Trump’s Facebook page, where it has earned more than three million views. Facebook did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment on whether it would similarly flag the video.
The White House has not hesitated to slam Twitter for intervening with Trump’s tweets in the past.
Last month, the platform hid a tweet in which Trump warned George Floyd protesters that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” In response, the White House claimed Twitter censors Trump more than “terrorists” and “dictators.”
*First Published: Jun 19, 2020, 8:51 am
Bryan Rolli is a reporter who specializes in streaming entertainment. He writes about music and film for Forbes, Billboard, and the Austin American-Statesman. He met Flavor Flav in two separate Las Vegas bowling alleys and still can’t stop talking about it.