Facebook’s Zuckerberg called Pelosi after altered video, but she hasn’t responded

Would you take a call from this man? Nancy Pelosi apparently didn’t.

James Martin/Techhnews

Silence might speak louder than words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has criticized Facebook for not removing a video that was altered to make her seem drunk. 

On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Pelosi to talk about how the company deals with misinformation but that she wasn’t “eager” to hear his explanation and didn’t call back. Their staff members have been in touch, though, according to the Post, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. 

Tensions between the California Democrat and the world’s largest social network have escalated after Facebook decided to leave up the doctored Pelosi clip. Facebook doesn’t label the video itself as manipulated, but on desktop computers it shows articles from fact-checkers alongside the clip, and it reduced the video’s reach on NewsFeed. Twitter also left up the video. Google-owned YouTube took it down. 

One version of the video, posted by the group Politics WatchDog, got nearly 3 million views, but it’s no longer available. The group claimed last week that Facebook took it down, but the social network said it didn’t. Pelosi said in May that Facebook’s refusal to remove the altered video showed that the company’s leaders were “willing enablers” of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Pelosi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook declined to comment or confirm the Post’s report. 

On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on manipulated media and “deepfakes,” a technique that uses AI to create videos of people doing or saying something they didn’t. 

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