Earlier this week, an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caught fire on Facebook, and despite being faked, the platform has so far declined to remove it. However, it has now chosen to notify users who attempt to share the clip that it is faked.
“Once the video was fact checked as false, we dramatically reduced its distribution,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge. “Speed is critical to this system, and we continue to improve our response. People who see the video in feed, try to share it from feed, or already shared it are alerted that it’s false.”
The new menu pops up when a user taps the share button, notifying them that there has been new reporting on the video. “Before you share this content, you might want to know that there is additional reporting on this,” the menu reads. It then lists buttons that users can click to read articles from organizations like Factcheck.org, Lead Stories, PolitiFact, the Associated Press, and 20 Minutes. The first button, however, simply allows the user to continue on sharing the video.
The Verge tested this new menu, and it does appear when a user clicks share on the faked clip of Pelosi on the Politics WatchDog page that originally shared it. It’s unclear if the message pops up on reuploads of it as well.
Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, appeared on CNN last night to explain the platform’s decision to keep the video up. Bickert acknowledged that users who try to share it would be notified it was fake, but it was unclear how that was being done.
“Anybody who is seeing this video in news feed, anyone who is going to share it to somebody else, anybody who has shared it in the past, they are being alerted that this video is false,” Bickert told CNN.
Once news broke Thursday that this video was circulating across social media, YouTube decided to remove it. President Donald Trump has also tweeted out the video on his personal Twitter account. Twitter has yet to remove it or provide a public statement regarding that decision.