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Refusal to remove video shows Facebook enabled Russian election interference: Pelosi

(Reuters) – the U.S. House of representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that Facebook Inc. ‘ s refusal to remove a heavily edited video that tried to make her look disjointed had convinced her that the company knowingly enabled Russian elections interference.

“If there is something like Facebook says,” I know that this is not true … – it is a lie – but we can see it,’ good to me says two things,” Pelosi said to applause at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “I gave them the benefit of the doubt on Russia … I thought that it was unconsciously, but it is clear that they wanted minions and enablers of false information to go on Facebook.”

“There is a fake video that the Republicans are putting on Facebook,” the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives added.

They also said that attacks such as that on Facebook also complicates recruiting candidates for public office, because “why would you subject yourself.”

Facebook not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pelosi’s remarks.

NetChoice, an ecommerce trade group with Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, Inc. Google, issued a statement of objection against Pelosi’s criticisms.

“Hyperbolic attacks on the platforms will not help in solving the technical problems of today,” Carl Szabo, vice president of the group, said in the statement. “It is clear that Facebook is hugely invested to ensure that the platform will not be misused in order to support election interference.”

The video of Pelosi was delayed to make her speech seem slurred and edited to make it appear she repeatedly stumbled over her words.

President Donald Trump retweeted the video of last week, writing: “PELOSI STAMMERS BY press conference.” He later told a journalist of the House of representatives, who is 79, had “lost.”

The Washington Post reported last week that YouTube, owned by Google, responded by removing the video because it violated the company policy on acceptable content. The Post said Twitter has no comment, but Facebook has declined to remove the videos, even after independent fact-checkers deemed the content false.

“We have no policy that states that the information that you post on Facebook must be true,” the Post quoted Facebook said in a statement.

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U. S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Russian 13 persons and the three Russian entities with conspiracy to defraud the United States, among other charges, as part of his research to the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections, which included widespread use of social media sites to spread misinformation.

Facebook has been criticized about the content of policies by politicians from the entire spectrum. Republican senators have accused you of discrimination against conservative viewpoints and the suppression of free expression, which suggests antitrust action could resolve the situation.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Google has refused its platform is politically biased.

Reporting by David Alexander, Susan Cornwell and Chris Sanders; editing by Bill Berkrot and Leslie Adler

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