House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that Facebook’s decision to leave posted a video edited to make her appear inebriated was proof the social media giant's people were "willing enablers" of Russian political meddling.
The doctored video of the Democratic leader slurring her words during a speech has been spread by far-right websites and has been viewed nearly three million times.
Facebook, which has been scrutinized for not doing enough to fight disinformation on its platform, said it hasn’t taken the video down because its rules don’t prevent users from spreading false information.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens to a question during an address at the Commonwealth Club Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
"We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians. I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false. I think it's wrong," Pelosi said during an interview with San Francisco radio station KQED. "I can take it. … But [Facebook is] lying to the public."
"I think they have proven — by not taking down something they know is false — that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election," she added.
Facebook told The Hill its fact-checkers flagged the video as false and downgraded its distribution in its news feed.
Still, the tech giant's refusal to take it down altogether has triggered a Democratic backlash.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on Sunday called the videos "vile partisan trash" and said it is a “sad omen of what is to come in the 2020 election season.”
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill earlier this week that lawmakers need to put "guardrails in place" to prevent a “crisis of confidence” in what consumers see on social media platforms.
Facebook did not respond to a Fox News request for comment Wednesday.
In defending its decision, the company said it works with fact-checking organizations to make sure accurate information is posted to its website.
"We think it's important for people to make their own informed choice about what to believe," Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president for product policy and counterterrorism, told CNN. "Our job is to make sure that we are getting them accurate information and that's why we work with more than 50 fact-checking organizations around the world."