Facebook says it will continue to host a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House Speaker is drunk or unwell, in the latest incident highlighting its struggle to deal with disinformation.
The viral clip shows Pelosi – who has publicly angered Donald Trump in recent days – speaking at an event, but it has been slowed down to give the impression she is slurring her words.
The president’s personal lawyer, the former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, was among the Trump supporters who promoted the story. He tweeted – then deleted – a link to a copy of the video on Facebook with the caption: “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre.”
Despite the apparently malicious intent of the video’s creator, Facebook has said it will only downgrade its visibility in users’ newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact checking site pointing out that the clip is misleading. As a result, although it is less likely to be seen by accident, the doctored video will continue to rack up views. Facebook only took the action following inquiries from the Washington Post, which first reported the story.