Editors Pick

Facebook Defends Decision to Leave Fake Nancy Pelosi Video Up, Because of Course They Do

Photo: Getty Images

By now, everyone who has seen or heard of the widely circulated video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seem intoxicated is fake. YouTube took down uploads of the video, a call which seemed like a no-brainer to most.

Facebook has yet to follow suit, according to the Washington Post. Acknowledging the video as “false,” this generation’s Standard Oil said the video would remain on the platform.

With more than 2.5 million views for the video by Friday, vice president for product policy and counterterrorism Monika Bickert said the company “dramatically” reduced the video’s distribution without removing it.

“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice for what to believe,” she said during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Our job is to make sure we are getting them accurate information,” she added.

Cooper, whose black-framed spectacles accentuated a mild disgust, wasn’t having it.

“You’re making money by being in the news business,” he said. “If you can’t do it well, shouldn’t you just get out of the news business?”

We aren’t in the news business. We’re in the social media business,” Bickert replied.

“The reason you’re sharing news is because you make money from it.,” Cooper replied. “But if you’re in the news business, which you are, then you have to do it right. And this is false information you are spreading.”

Bickert told Cooper the video is now tagged with fact-checker icons beneath the post, though icons often get lost in the shuffle or misinterpreted as related content or advertisements that users easily overlook, which is something you’d think the world’s most powerful media outlet would know.

Saturday morning, Facebook’s bandaid had done little. According to screenshots from the Post, one user wondered “Why is she not arrested for being drunk while conducting federal business as a federal employee!” and an expanded link for the video, which has more than 48,000 shares, showed no fact-checker warnings.


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