‘Sexist trash’: Hillary Clinton slams Facebook for keeping up Pelosi videos – POLITICO
Hillary Clinton on Wednesday slammed Facebook for refusing to remove doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, admonishing the social network for its controversial decision to keep up what Clinton called “sexist trash.”
Those remarks from the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee came during her commencement address to Hunter College’s graduating class at Madison Square Garden in New York, as she was discussing foreign interference in U.S. elections and other threats to American voters.
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“The big social media platforms know their systems are being manipulated by foreign and domestic actors to sow division, promote extremism and spread misinformation — but they won’t get serious about cleaning up their platforms unless consumers demand it,” Clinton said.
“And we saw why it’s so important just last week, when Facebook refused to take down a fake video of Nancy Pelosi,” she continued. “It wasn’t even a close call. The video is sexist trash. And YouTube took it down but Facebook kept it up.”
The videos of Pelosi, which began disseminating online last week, are digitally manipulated to slow the speaker’s speech in a manner that suggests she was drunk or otherwise physically impaired.
YouTube, a Google subsidiary, has removed the videos from its platform, saying in a statement that the clips “violated our policies.” But a Facebook spokesperson in a statement to POLITICO said the company did not “have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true.”
The videos became a flashpoint last week in a bitter feud between Pelosi and President Donald Trump, with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani sharing one such clip on Twitter and the president telling reporters at an official White House event that the speaker is “a mess” who has “lost it.”
Clinton first criticized the videos as “sexist trash“ during a speech in Houston to the Harris County Democratic Party on Friday, saying that they were “a sign that Trump is running scared.“ In her remarks to the graduates on Wednesday, however, she directed her ire squarely at Facebook.
“Let’s send a message to Facebook that those who are in Facebook’s communities would really like Facebook to pay attention to false and doctored videos before we are flooded with them over the next months,” Clinton said.
Hours earlier, Pelosi bashed the tech giant as “willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election” during an interview with a San Francisco radio station.
“We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” she sad. “I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false. I think it’s wrong. I can take it. … But [Facebook is] lying to the public.”
Clinton on Wednesday also accused the Trump administration of having “too often worked to tear down hard-won civil rights“ instead of “standing up against bigotry and white supremacy,“ and invoked the 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden — where the graduates were receiving their diplomas 80 years later.
“That‘s right. Twenty-thousand Nazis and Nazi sympathizers right here in the heart of the most diverse city in the world,“ Clinton said, adding: “Today, I wish that felt like ancient history.“