Cooper Isn't Buying Facebook's Answers on Pelosi Video

After 2016 campaign, site promised to police disinformation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2019 8:23 AM CDT
Cooper Prods Facebook for Answers on Pelosi Video
CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Monika Bickert, head of global policy management for Facebook.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

"Facebook has repeatedly told Congress and the American people that you’re serious about fighting disinformation and fake news," Anderson Cooper reminded a Facebook executive Friday in a CNN interview about an altered video that appeared to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drunk. "Yet this doctored video that I think your own fact-checkers acknowledge is doctored of Speaker Pelosi remains on your platform. Why?" Monika Bickert answered by saying that Facebook was alerting users who had seen the video, the Hill reports. "We work with internationally certified fact-checking organizations that are independent from Facebook, and we think these are the right organizations to be making decisions about whether something is true or false," she said. "As soon as we get a rating from them that content is false, then we dramatically reduce the distribution of that content."

Instead of taking the video down, Facebook "let people know that it’s false, so they can make an informed choice," Bickert said, per Rolling Stone. The video, which makes it appear that Pelosi was slurring her words, has been seen more than 2 million times. YouTube took it down, but Twitter left the video up. Politics WatchDog, the Facebook page behind the posting, denied responsibility for viewers' interpretations. "We never claimed that Speaker Pelosi was drunk," a posting said. "We can’t control what the people in the comments think." Bickert echoed that sentiment, that Facebook "isn't in the news business. We're in the social media business." Cooper disagreed. "The reason you’re sharing news is because you make money from it," he said, so "you’ve got to do it right, and this is false information you are spreading." (More Facebook stories.)

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