As if things couldn't get any worse for Facebook, the social media outlet is facing serious criticism over its decision not to remove some pretty controversial content. If you've been online on Saturday, May 25, you've probably even seen some of it and wondered: What is the "Delete Facebook" hashtag? Simply put, it looks like people are fed up with the social platform's latest stance on a controversial video.
The drama has been in full swing since Wednesday, May 22, when conservative Facebook page Politics WatchDog posted what's now being called a reportedly altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California). Per The New York Times, the video of Pelosi at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference appears to have been slowed down, making it appear she was stumbling over and slurring her words. The publication even posted a side-by-side video to compare the original with the reportedly doctored clip. A Pelosi spokesperson told The Washington Post they had no comment on the "sexist trash."
A number of different altered videos surfaced from there, with even President Donald Trump sharing different one to his Twitter audience of over 60 million. He captioned the video of Pelosi during a weekly news conference, which appears to have been created by FOX Business Network, "PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE." Per The New York Times, the 35-second video appears to splice together moments from a 20-minute press conference Pelosi gave on May 23. In response to Elite Daily's inquiry for comment on NYT's claim that the video appears "spliced together" to highlight the "moments she stumbled her words," a FOX Business Network spokesperson says, "The FOX Business segment featuring clips from Speaker Pelosi’s speech today did not slow down any aspect of her address."
The originator of Politics WatchDog video has not yet addressed doctoring claims that have been reported by many outlets since Wednesday. As of publication, neither Trump nor Politics WatchDog have removed the respective videos of Pelosi, and Facebook has even refused to remove the 3-minute clip posted by Politics WatchDog. This is where the gripe seems to stem for those calling to #DeleteFacebook. In in a statement shared with Deadline on Friday, May 24, the company said it would downgrade the video's visibility in users’ newsfeeds and include a link to a third-party fact-checking site, showing that the clip is misleading.
A spokesperson for the company said:
There’s a tension here: we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance. But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.
As of May 23, YouTube apparently removed the Politics WatchDog video, per The Hill. In the company's statement to the publication, it shared why, explaining, "YouTube has clear policies that outline what content is not acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us. These videos violated our policies and have been removed."
But that's apparently just not enough for some social media users. On Saturday, May 25, thousands of people flocked to Twitter to urge others to delete their Facebook accounts, along with calls to also #DeleteTwitter. Really, it appeared to be a social media backlash to the reportedly doctored video. Twitter has not yet commented on the video. Even with the dual frustrations, it appears people are fed up with Facebook, likely because the original reportedly doctored video remains up on the site.
@themintytea said she's ready for "a new, unbiased, safe, private, healthy social media platform to replace it."
Taking a page from the great Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, one Twitter user wrote, "FACEBOOK. YOU ARE THE JABRONI OF THE EARTH." (LOL.)
Not everyone is joining the bandwagon, though.
A Twitter user who goes by the name of Joanna Cook seemed to imply that she wouldn't be one of the people jumping ship, tweeting, "There will always be fake news everywhere you look. Just be smart enough to do your research to be able to tell the difference."
Yikes. So this looks like the last straw for some folks.
If you're not aware, Facebook has had a bunch of issues related to privacy, misinformation, its impact on the 2016 presidential election, and more. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to make changes at the social media giant, it appears that that's been easier said than done.
By the look of things, something has to happen — and fast. If these Twitter users are as serious about deleting their accounts as they seem, Facebook is in for one. Although, there appears to be a condemnation of fake news on social media as a whole, so I guess you'll have to stay tuned to see what happens next.