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May 26, 2019, 10:59 a.m. EDT

Facebook executive defends company’s approach to doctored Pelosi video: ‘We have acted’

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By Tim Rostan, MarketWatch

‘First off, I think the suggestion there is that we haven’t taken action, and that’s not right: We have acted.’

Monika Bickert, Facebook

That’s Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, defending on CNN the company’s approach to the posting and sharing on its platform of perniciously manipulated video footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The action Bickert references: Users being exposed to or in the process of exposing others to the video, as well as those who have shared it in the past, Bickert said, are now being alerted by Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -0.10% that the content “is false.”

Facebook, she said, works with dozens of fact-checking organizations around the world, and did so in this case as well. “As soon as we get a rating from them that content is false, then we dramatically reduce the distribution of that content, and we let [users] know that it’s false.”

Don’t miss: Berkeley professor says doctored Pelosi video is not a sophisticated fake: ‘Anybody can do this’

“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice about what to believe,” Bickert told host Anderson Cooper on Friday. “Our job is to make sure that we are getting them accurate information.”

“But it’s not accurate information,” interjected Cooper, who went on to argue — with pushback from Bickert, a Harvard Law graduate, who said, “We aren’t in the news business; we are in the social-media business” — that Facebook should take greater responsibility, as news organizations must do, for the content on its platform.


CNN
Facebook executive Monika Bickert appears on Anderson Cooper's CNN program to discuss her company’s treatment of a doctored video seeking to make House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear impaired.

As evidence that the company’s procedures are working, Bickert argued that the conversation on social and other media, after the independent verification of the Pelosi video’s illegitimacy, has been about the video’s having been manipulated rather than about consumers of the content believing in its veracity. “And that’s the conversation that people should be having,” she said.

Watch the “Anderson Cooper 360°” interview here:

/zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 186.04
-0.18 -0.10%
Volume: 2.60M
Sept. 17, 2019 11:06a
P/E Ratio
31.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$531.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.57M
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Tim Rostan is a MarketWatch managing editor based in Chicago.

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