Doctored Pelosi Videos Offer a Warning: The Internet Isn't Ready for 2020 - NECN
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Doctored Pelosi Videos Offer a Warning: The Internet Isn't Ready for 2020

Multiple edited videos of Pelosi have circulated on the internet in recent days, spreading through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Doctored Pelosi Videos Offer a Warning: The Internet Isn't Ready for 2020
    Matt Slocum/AP
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a panel discussion at Delaware County Community College, Friday, May 24, 2019, in Media, Pa.

    The 2020 election is set to face some very 2016 challenges when it comes to the spread of misinformation, NBC News reports.

    The emergence of distorted videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, edited to make her appear to have trouble speaking, has provided a stark reminder that technology often remains an enemy of truth in politics, just as it was four years ago. The core issues of social media virality, confirmation bias and the fringe internet-to-conservative media pipeline have endured from 2016 and do not even need particularly sophisticated techniques to do real mischief.

    The videos also offer a warning that concerns about election interference from foreign countries should not overshadow the ability of domestic actors to influence what people see, hear and think. President Donald Trump himself distributed one of the carefully edited videos on Twitter on Friday morning, and though he denied knowing that they were altered, he continued pushing their underlying theme that Pelosi is somehow impaired.

    The Pelosi videos and their narratives were not the product of advanced technology, nor did they take a different route to prominence than previous misinformation efforts. Altering the Pelosi videos required only basic video editing software that is now included on most computers and can also be done in web browsers.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)