A campaign ad for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took a snippet from President Donald Trump wildly out of context.
The Biden campaign released an August 4 ad featuring a deceptively edited clip of President Trump’s sober commentary about the COVID-19 pandemic during an interview with national political reporter Jonathan Swan of Axios and wrote:
“Thousands of Americans are dying every week. The President's response?
“‘It is what it is.’”
Turning Point USA Chief Creative Officer Benny Johnson responded that same afternoon by calling out the ad for being “deceptively edited to leave out important context intentionally.” He followed up explaining that, “In the next sentence he [Trump] says: ‘But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can.’” Johnson then asked if Twitter will “mark this as manipulated media like they did for Trump’s ad?”
In a following tweet, Johnson elaborated by reminding followers that Twitter had flagged a tweet of Joe Biden babbling from White House social media director Dan Scavino:
“REMEMBER: This @DanScavino Tweet was marked as ‘Manipulated Media’ because the full context of the clip wasn’t included.
“Will Twitter be consistent here or continue to let their bias show?”
The video in question featured former Vice President Biden caught on video seemingly endorsing his rival, President Donald Trump, for re-election. Liberal media outlets condemned the video as deceptively edited misinformation in order to cover for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Twitter followed up by labeling the video as “manipulated media.” When reached for comment, Twitter staff replied that “this Tweet was labeled based on our Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy.”
Twitter’s actual crackdowns on misinformation appear inconsistent at best.
In late March, Twitter refused to label a video as misinformation that even the Washington Post and The Hill found to be in bad faith. Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg’s former senior adviser Tim O’Brien tweeted a video splicing audio clips of Trump’s words together and taken out of context, set to a rising graph showing “Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in US.” The video was edited as if to say that Trump was referring to the “Coronavirus,” claiming “this is their new hoax,” as if Trump were denying the existence of the disease altogether. Biden shared a video featuring similar language, which was also allowed to remain without a misinformation interstitial, or filter under the clip.
On the other hand, when Twitter is not functionally “protecting” the Biden campaign, it has punished some misinfo about Trump in the past. Anti-Trump group, The Lincoln Project was fact-checked by Twitter for sharing a video clip of Trump’s Independence Day speech, which was taken completely out of context. The video, which Twitter claimed had been “edited in a way that makes it appear as though the president says Operation Desert Storm took place in Vietnam,” was tweeted by The Lincoln Project.
Twitter also said liberal talk show host Jimmy Kimmel shared a video claiming that Pence had been caught on a hot mic delivering empty boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) for a hospital. Twitter responded by labelling the video as “manipulated media” on May 8.
Twitter has only grown bolder about its censorship as the election approaches. In late May, Twitter fact-checked Trump for suggesting that mail-in ballots could lead to voter fraud, a concern even The New York Times has acknowledged to be valid.
Twitter followed up by placing an interstitial, or filter, over Trump’s tweet condemning violent riots over the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd in police custody. It acted similarly in June when Trump vowed to meet rioters who would destroy Washington, D.C. “with serious force.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Twitter's leadership by tweeting at the official @Twitter account and demand that Twitter not bow to liberal media pressure. Instead, Big Tech should be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form to be included in our database, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.