Twitter and Facebook officials are unsure about what to do with a meme from Wednesday night’s Democrat primary debate that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s shared on his verified Twitter account.
The Hill reported that in the video the billionaire oligarch asks his rivals if they have ever launched a business. The video is a meme edited to show the other candidates being speechless on stage, with crickets chirping in the background.
A Twitter spokesperson informed The Hill on Friday, February 21, 2020 that the video would be labeled under the platform’s new manipulated media policy which will be unveiled on March 5. Under this new policy, Twitter may label or even delete media that is “deceptively” altered.
On the other hand, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone revealed on Twitter that the same video posted on Facebook or Instagram would not receive the same label.
Facebook’s policy on banning “deepfakes” — a term used to describe videos altered through the use of artificial intelligence, which appears to not be used in this case — includes exceptions specifically for satire.
The policy “does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words,” Facebook claims.
Major social media platforms have been under fire for failing to take action on two viral edited videos. Once which involved footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slowing down to make her appear drunk and another video of former Vice President Joe Biden cut to make him look like he’s repeating white nationalist talking points.
In both cases, Facebook and Twitter did not take the videos down despite the outrage. Facebook featured the Pelosi video, while Twitter featured the Biden video.
Under Twitter’s new rules both videos would be labeled, whereas Facebook maintains that the aforementioned editing tactics are not in violation of its rules.
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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