President Donald Trump and his supporters shared multiple heavily doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that falsely purport to show her struggling to speak.
“PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE,”Trump tweeted, quoting a chyron from Fox Business host Lou Dobbs’ show and sharing a heavily edited video montage of a news conference Pelosi held Wednesday. The 30-second montage of the 20-minute press conference purports to show Pelosi struggle to answer questions and uses one clip repeatedly.
Hany Farid, a computer science professor at UC-Berkeley and a digital forensics expert, told The Washington Post that the video “is highly deceptive as it compiles in rapid succession relatively small verbal stumbles in an attempt to portray Speaker Pelosi as stumbling through her press conference.”
"The original C-SPAN video clearly shows that this montage that the president tweeted is not an accurate depiction of her press conference," he explained.
Giuliani shared another manipulated video:
Trump’s tweet came after tens of thousands of his supporters, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, widely shared other doctored videos purporting to depict Pelosi as drunk.
“What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi?” Giuliani tweeted with a link to one of the videos. “Her speech pattern is bizarre.” He later deleted the tweet.
The video, one of several versions posted online, features a heavily slowed down clip of Pelosi speaking to make it look like she was slurring her words.
"By my calculation, the altered video has been slowed by almost 75% introducing a significant distortion in her speech," Farid told CNN.
Social networks botch response to video:
Twitter told CNN that the social network does not have any plans to take action in response to the clearly fake videos. Facebook said that it would not remove the video but would instead refer it to a third-party fact-checker for a rating.
YouTube was the only major network to remove the video.
"YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed," the company told CNN.
Even Fox News fact-checked the video after it was cited by “Diamond and Silk” in an attempt to smear Pelosi as a “non-functioning alcoholic” who “slurs her words.”
“I was unfamiliar with what they were talking about—I’m looking at a FoxNews.com story: ‘Manipulated videos of Nancy Pelosi edited to falsely depict her as drunk spread on social media.’ And according to a report from The Washington Post, experts believe the original video was slowed down to 75 percent from the original and that her pitch was manipulated in order to present her as under the influence,” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said. “Not a real video. It’s doctored.”