House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly criticized Facebook over its decision to keep a manipulated video of her on its service, telling public radio station KQED that the social media giant was “lying to the public.”
Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
A video that was doctored to suggest that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was intoxicated during a recent public event appeared on Facebook last week, and has since been viewed close to 3 million times. Facebook declined to remove the video, but curtailed its distribution by not showing it to users in their news feed anymore.
In her conversation with KQED, Pelosi said that Facebook should take down the video. She proceeded to link the incident to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying: “We have said all along, ‘Poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians.’ I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false.”
Facebook justified leaving the video on its site by saying that the publisher of the video wasn’t violating its terms of service just because it was false. A spokesperson told Variety last week: “Once the video was fact checked as false, we dramatically reduced its distribution. 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.”