Many of the President’s supporters told CNN that they felt the platforms’ fact-checking processes were biased against conservative viewpoints. Others discussed social media posts that contained manipulated media as if they were real.
The video — which appears to show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sleeping as a TV news anchor repeats, “Wake up!” — was shared on Twitter by White House social media director Dan Scavino.
It was achieved by splicing together real footage of a 2011 interview between journalist Leyla Santiago, now of CNN, and entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte with footage of Biden looking down, his eyes appearing at least partially closed, to make it appear as if he were snoozing. An audio track of loud snoring was placed on the video to complete the effect.
Asked last week why Trump shares fake videos and baseless conspiracy theories about Biden, Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, invoked a meme defense.
“You call it a fake video. What it is is an internet meme,” he said. “Those are very frequently done to make a political point.”
The joke was lost on Chris, the Trump supporter in Bemidji, who apparently believed the video was real footage. He acknowledged, “I missed that one,” when he was shown how the video had been manipulated.
But the fact the video was faked didn’t change his impression of Biden because he believed something like that could happen, Chris said.
Chris said he did not want to share his last name.
When false claims and doctored videos are fact-checked by Facebook or labeled as manipulated by Twitter, it is possible that they have already been viewed and shared for days.
And many of the Trump supporters who spoke to CNN in Bemidji said they simply do not trust the fact-checks that are deployed by Facebook.
One rally attendee, Mary Parsons, claimed her posts about the President were often removed by Facebook.
But just as Parsons feels hard done by Facebook’s fact-checkers who she views as overly zealous, so, too, do some Democrats, who think Facebook is not doing enough fact-checking.
Either way, Parson says, the fact-checks do not sway her opinion.