(Bloomberg) -- Nancy Pelosi blasted Facebook Inc. for refusing to take down a doctored video of her, saying it suggests the social networking company acted as “enablers” of Russian election interference.
“When something like Facebook says ‘I know this is false, it’s a lie, but we’re showing it anyway,”’ the House speaker said, it leads her to conclude that the company acted as “accomplices and enablers” in Russia’s 2016 election meddling through ads on the website.
Pelosi’s rebuke of Facebook Wednesday in San Francisco comes as other members of Congress are increasingly pushing the company to take a more active role in combating misinformation and protecting user privacy. The company has resisted calls for a heavier hand in moderating content, arguing that there is no policy that says content on the social network must be accurate.
One video shows Pelosi appearing to slur her words and stammer and has been viewed and shared on social media millions of times. YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, eventually deleted it from the platform. Facebook has declined to remove it, instead adding warnings to indicate that independent fact checkers have rated it as false.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on Pelosi’s remarks.
After the video circulated last week, President Donald Trump called Pelosi “a mess,” who is “disintegrating before their eyes.”
There are other doctored or falsely edited videos of Pelosi in circulation as well, including one tweeted by the president that appears to show her stammering throughout a news conference.
Pelosi, speaking at the Commonwealth Club, said allowing such distorted and misleading material to flourish discourages qualified people from seeking public office.
“If you were going to go out there, why would you subject yourself to that?,” Pelosi asked. “That’s what disappoints me.”
Pelosi also addressed the false videos during an earlier interview Wednesday with San Francisco radio station KQED.
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