A hot potato: The battle between Twitter and Donald Trump is showing no signs of abating after another of the president’s tweets was publicly flagged by the company. On this occasion, a video showing a fake CNN news report on a 'racist baby' was retweeted by Trump, which led to Twitter adding a warning label that the post featured manipulated media.
The original version of the video first appeared on CNN’s website last year. It shows a white toddler and a black toddler running toward each other and hugging, and appeared under the headline: “These two toddlers are showing us what real-life besties look like.”
The edited version retweeted by Trump starts with the section where one of the toddlers is running in front of the other. It includes a chyron stating, “Terrified toddler runs from racist baby,” followed by “Racist baby probably a Trump voter.”
The clip ends by showing the original video, followed by the message: “America is not the problem, fake news is.” It’s been viewed 12.6 million times, has over 338,000 Likes, and has been retweeted more than 66,000 times.
Twitter has added a ‘manipulated media’ alert to the post that leads to a separate page curated by the site containing information and tweets explaining that the video has been edited. Twitter policies disallow the sharing of videos that have been “deceptively altered.”
This isn’t the first time Twitter has labeled a Trump tweet. At the end of May, a post in which the president claimed mail-in boxes would be forged, illegally printed, and signed was also singled out. The company added a “Get the facts about mail-in boxes” link, which takes users to a page explaining why these are unsubstantiated claims.
Trump accused Twitter of “stifling free speech” after it labeled his May tweet with a fact check label, leading him to sign an executive order that reduces the protections social media firms receive over the content posted by users.
Not long before Trump retweeted the baby video, Facebook removed some of his campaign ads that featured an inverted red triangle symbol used by the Nazis. The president also tweeted another video late Thursday that includes a fake chyron, though it hasn’t been marked by Twitter.