May 29, 2019

Pelosi: Facebook enabled Russian interference

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told KQED News on Wednesday that Facebook's resistance to remove a doctored video of her serves as evidence that the company's leaders were "willing enablers" of Russian interference.

"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."
— Nancy Pelosi

Context: The video in question slowed Pelosi's speech to the point of sounding questionably slurred. Although the footage has since been deemed false, Facebook declined to remove it, instead opting to reduce the video's newsfeed appearances.

  • Facebook also added links to fact-checking sources alongside the video, as well as a prompt linking to "additional reporting" should someone attempt to share the clip.

The big picture: Although Facebook says it doesn't have a policy prohibiting false information from its site, per the Washington Post, the company has claimed that it's actively working toward preventing the spread of misinformation, specifically following the 2016 election.

  • The social media platform was a hotbed for Russian ads used to influence 2016 election outcomes. Earlier this month, Congress released 3,500 ads that had been posted on Facebook and Instagram, demonstrating in broad detail what campaigns looked like and how they targeted unsuspecting Americans.

The bottom line: While the video doesn't break any of the platform's stated rules, the incident illustrates the impact of misinformation in a social media age.

Go deeper: Doctored Pelosi video shows Facebook's challenge ahead of 2020

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its celebrated Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand after 160 years and winding down operations by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

The big picture: GM also intends to "sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China's Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year," AP reports. "The downsizing is part of a long-running strategy at GM since the Detroit-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009," per Bloomberg.

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

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