Meta’s Oversight Board is currently considering whether Meta’s community standards adequately address manipulated videos on its platforms, including those which mislead users to believe politicians took actions that they did not. The board is specifically assessing Meta’s actions with respect to a video of President Joe Biden that was misleadingly edited to lead viewers to falsely believe he inappropriately touched his granddaughter’s chest.
In response to the board’s request for public comment, Media Matters has called on Meta to expand and consistently enforce its manipulated media policies, particularly as they relate to political figures and issues.
Meta’s manipulated media policies, first introduced in 2020, are narrow and inconsistently enforced. Coupled with an inadequate labeling system, these deficiencies have resulted in widespread political misinformation and manipulated media across Meta's platforms. If left unaddressed, these deficiencies in Meta’s manipulated media policies are likely to have great consequences during the 2024 U.S. election cycle.
In the comment to the board, Media Matters documented numerous instances during the 2020 and 2022 election cycles where the platform failed to adequately enforce its manipulated media policies, as well as the policy’s loopholes that users can exploit. The policy does not prohibit content that has been misleadingly edited “to omit words that were said or change the order of words that were said,” and Meta’s fact-checked misinformation policy exempts “speech from politicians.”
Meta’s policies should prohibit content like the misleadingly edited video of Biden that could lead viewers to believe he took actions that he did not actually take. As the 2024 election cycle approaches, Trump and his network of right-wing politicians and media figures are set to spread political misinformation on Meta’s platforms. It is crucial that Meta better enforces and expands its manipulated media policy to prevent political misinformation on its platforms ahead of 2024.
Read Media Matters' full public comment here: