Twitter flags Trump tweet with CNN clip as ‘manipulated media’

Tribune Content Agency

WASHINGTON — Twitter Inc. has again flagged a tweet by President Donald Trump, with the social network warning that it contained “manipulated media.”

The tweet showed a video with a CNN-style chyron that read “Terrified Todler Runs From Racist Baby,” created by an account describing itself as a “memesmith.” It showed two children, one black and one white, on a sidewalk.

Within three hours of Trump’s post on Thursday, the tweet had accumulated more than 100,000 retweets and 212,000 likes. CNN responded in its own tweet linking to the way it actually covered the original video in 2019 of the two children playing together.

Twitter later put a “Manipulated Media” link in blue letters below the video. That led to a message saying, “Multiple journalists confirmed that the video, which was shared by President Trump, is edited and features a fake CNN chyron. The original CNN story, which is from 2019, reported on a friendship between two toddlers”

The cable network addressed Trump in its tweet:

“CNN did cover this story — exactly as it happened. “Just as we reported your positions on race (and poll numbers). We’ll continue working with facts rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. We invite you to do the same. Be better.”

Twitter, Trump’s favorite social media platform, has been growing more active in policing his tweets since adding a fact-check label to one of his posts at the end of May.

Another message in the midst of protests over the death of George Floyd prompted Twitter to hide Trump’s tweet behind a warning about it promoting violence. Most recently, the company also removed a Floyd tribute video tweeted by the Trump campaign because of a copyright infringement claim.

Twitter’s latest action doesn’t obscure the tweet and it only attaches the manipulation warning at the bottom of the post. That leads to a brief “what you need to know” page that sets out the facts.


©2020 Bloomberg News

Visit Bloomberg News at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.