Former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is taking heat for manipulating a video from the most recent presidential debate.
In the clip that Bloomberg posted online and which has gained traction, he asks the other candidates on the debate stage, “I’m the only one that I think has ever started a business, is that fair?”
After twenty-two seconds of the other candidates sighing and the sounds of crickets underlaid, Bloomberg adds, “Okay.”
Here’s the edited clip:
Anyone? pic.twitter.com/xqhq5qFYVk— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 20, 2020
In reality, there was only a two-second silence between Bloomberg asking the question and saying “okay.”
The Washington Post’s fact-checkers gave the video “four Pinocchios” — their highest rank. In the video, the other candidates sigh or grumble but those clips of the other candidates looking uncomfortable were actually taken from other moments in the debate according to the Post.
Twitter claims that they’re going to be fighting against deceptively edited videos like the one posted by Bloomberg. However, that policy does not come into effect until March. Facebook, which has been a hotbed for misinformation, said that the video does not violate any of their policies.
This is hardly the first time that a doctored video has become the subject of political conversation.
In May of 2019, a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was shared online en masse and even amplified by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The Trump lawyer quickly deleted his tweet sharing the video and apologized for posting it.
Pelosi was critical of Facebook for allowing the doctored video of her to be shared on the platform. The speaker said, “I think they have proven — by not taking down something they know is false — that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election.”