Twitter | @DanScavino

Trump's Social Media Team Earns Twitter's First 'Manipulated' Tag For Biden Video

For the first time ever, Twitter has used a "Manipulated media" tag on a tweet — one shared by President Trump's social media manager and retweeted by the president himself, according to Washington Post reporter Cat Zakrzewski.

In February, Twitter announced a new policy intended to fight deceptively edited content that is "likely to cause harm."

However, Twitter hadn't seen the need to use that policy until Dan Scavino tweeted a video of footage edited from a speech Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden had given earlier that day.

In the clip shared by Scavino, Biden appears to say "We can only re-elect Donald Trump," accidentally endorsing the president. However, in his full speech, Biden said "We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It's got to be a positive campaign."

Scavino defended the video, however.

Facebook | Donald J. Trump

He later tweeted, "The video was NOT manipulated."

The Trump team's digital director, Gary Coby, backed him up, tweeting "#SleepyJoe is such a mess that @Twitter thinks this video was manipulated. Sorry! He actually said this. Not manipulated. They are trying to drag Joe across the finish line."

That Biden said the words in the video is not in dispute.

As Gene Sperling, former economic advisor to the Obama administration, pointed out on Twitter, that Biden said the words is not the point.

"You see, most people get that if there's a video of someone saying to their spouse 'I have never loved you more than when I saw you holding our first baby' and someone edited it to 'I have never loved you' -- that it's misleading, shameful, opposite of truth and yes, manipulated," he tweeted.

The Biden campaign welcomed the tag from Twitter and called upon Facebook to do likewise.

Facebook | Joe Biden

"We live in an era of increasingly rampant disinformation, and there are only two ways to address this toxic force that is corroding our democracy: responsibly and in a way that serves the public, or irresponsibly and in a nakedly self-serving manner," campaign manager Greg Schultz said, according to CNN.

"Facebook’s malfeasance when it comes to trafficking in blatantly false misinformation is a national crisis in this respect. It is also an unconscionable act of putting profit above not just our country, but every country. Facebook won’t say it, but it is apparent to all who have examined their conduct and policies: they care first and foremost about money and, to that end, are willing to serve as one of the world’s most effective mediums for the spread of vile lies. That is repugnant, and it should be called out for what it is. Their unethical behavior is not acceptable, and it must change."

Shortly thereafter, Facebook did indeed follow Twitter's lead.

The video, in the version shared by Scavino on Facebook, received a "Partly False Information" warning on the site.

However, both platforms have declined to take down the video altogether. Facebook's policy isn't to remove such videos, as Politech Advisory founder Lindsay Gorman pointed out. "Facebook's policy is only to remove manipulated videos if they are true deepfakes generated by AI — of which we've seen precious few so far in political discourse," she tweeted.

This isn't the first time the Trump campaign has been accused of spreading misleading videos on social media.

In February, President Trump shared an edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, doctored to make it appear that she ripped up her copy of his State of the Union speech while he was introducing Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee.

h/t: The Washington Post, Business Insider