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Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter has placed a "manipulated media" label on an edited video of 2020 candidate Joe Biden delivering a speech. The video was originally tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by President Trump.

Why it matters: This appears to be the first time Twitter has used that label to call out a visual that it considers to have been doctored with the intention of manipulating users.

Details: The tweet was labeled as "manipulated media" based on Twitter's Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy, which states that "you may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm."

  • For now, the label only shows up when it is seen in users' Twitter feeds, not when the tweet is clicked on directly. According to a spokesperson, Twitter is working on a fix.

The tweet itself featured a video of Biden delivering a speech that's clipped to show him saying "We can only re-elect Donald Trump." It doesn't include the rest of the former vice president's sentence from the speech in which he says, "We can only re-elect Donald Trump, if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here."

The big picture: Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook have struggled with ways to fact-check and police misinformation on their platforms without appearing biased.

  • Twitter's new policy went into effect on March 5. Twitter has previously said that a doctored video posted last month by former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg would likely be labeled as false when its new manipulated media policy eventually went into effect.
  • A Facebook spokesperson said the doctored Biden video would not violate that social media platform's manipulated media policy.

What they're saying: In a statement responding to Twitter's actions, Biden's campaign manager Greg Schultz slammed Facebook's policies around misinformation, calling them "repugnant."

  • The clip has since been labeled as "Partly False Information" on Facebook.

The other side: Conservative personalities defended Scavino, saying the video wasn't manipulated, only slightly edited.

  • Some asserted that Twitter has in the past not labeled videos as being manipulative when other campaigns have edited them selectively, although the company's policy would not have been applied to any video before March 5.

Our thought bubble: Often when a platform labels something as manipulated or false, its label is weaponized or slammed for being used in a biased manner.

  • For example, Facebook said in 2017 it would no longer use "Disputed Flags" — red flags next to fake news articles — to identify fake news for users, because academic research showed they didn't work and they often have the reverse effect of making people want to click more.

Go deeper: Tech platforms struggle to police deepfakes

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Schultz and the video's new status on Facebook.

Go deeper

14 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

NYT: Biden won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.