Presidential elections

Twitter cites Trump again for sharing Biden NWA video

A doctored video of the Democratic presidential candidate apparently playing a notorious song by the LA rap group was retweeted by the president.

Twitter cites Trump again for sharing Biden NWA mock-up
Drew Angerer AFP

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in June during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, that he would not be holding any campaign rallies during his run for the White House against incumbent President Donald Trump as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Trump cancelled a rally in Alabama around the same time but has since been firmly on the campaign trail. In recent days, the president has held a rally in Nevada, where he posited the possibility of a third term in the White House, and visited the wildfire-stricken state of California as well as Arizona as he attempts to drum up support from his core base ahead of what is expected to be a tough battle against Biden on November 3.

Biden not on traditional campaign trail

Biden - who leads Trump by nine percentage points in national polls according to a Reuters/Ipsos survey - and the current president have both been courting the key Hispanic vote with Trump holding a meeting in California and Biden doing likewise on Wednesday at a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Florida.

The Democratic candidate, who has previously described this presidential contest as "the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history" was introduced at the event by Ricky Martin and Fonsi, the singer behind the ubiquitous summer hit “Despacito” that Biden decided to play on his phone as he took to the stage.

Trump retweets doctored video with China warning

A doctored video of the moment soon appeared on social media with Biden apparently nodding along in approval to a notorious song by Los Angeles rap group NWA (warning, contains extremely strong language), a song that at the time of its release invited the close attentions of the law enforcement agencies wherever the group played and led to an official warning from the FBI.

Trump, who has cast himself as a "law-and-order" president during the campaign in response to widespread protests, most of them peaceful, following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, tweeted the edited video: "What is this all about?"

Another message suggested China, who Trump has said will “own America” if Biden wins the elections in November, would be “drooling” over the footage.

Twitter, with which the president has had several run-ins this year, labeled the video as "manipulated media."

Trump gets "itty-bitty flag"

A Twitter spokeswoman said the video, which garnered more than 2.8 million views, was labeled based on its synthetic and manipulated media policy. The United Spot, self-described as making satirical videos, posted the original tweet.

Twitter has previously attached labels to tweets posted and shared by the president, including adding fact-checking notices on his tweets containing misleading information about mail-in ballots.

However, Biden's digital director Rob Flaherty criticized Twitter's labeling of the clip as insufficient, tweeting, "this is Trump's second tweet on this fake video. the only notice you get is this itty-bitty little flag at the bottom that it's 'manipulated media' that you can barely notice."