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Nancy Pelosi says Facebook is lying about Russian manipulation

"I think they have proven ... that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election."
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JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN / Reuters

After Facebook refused to take down a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi that made her appear drunk, the House Speaker went on the attack. She said that the social media network's willingness to leave up an obviously false video shows it wasn't an innocent victim of Russian intelligence, as it had claimed. "I think [Facebook] have proven -- by not taking down something they know is false -- that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election," Pelosi told KQED News.

Pelosi went further in accusing Facebook of not being as innocent as it claimed in 2016. "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," she said. "I can take it ... but [Facebook is] lying to the public."

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. I can take it ... but [Facebook is] lying to the public.

Facebook is facing political pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, with the right accusing it of anti-conservative bias and the left saying it has become a tool to manipulate elections in the US and elsewhere. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren even called for the social media network to be broken up, saying on Twitter that "I want a social media marketplace that isn't dominated by a single censor."

With pressure mounting on Facebook, it could become a central theme of the 2020 Presidential election. At a commencement address yesterday, Hillary Clinton said that social media platforms "know their systems are being manipulated by foreign and domestic actors to sow division, promote extremism and spread misinformation."

She noted, however, that with regard to the Pelosi video, not all platforms acted in the same way. "It wasn't even a close call. The video is sexist trash," she said. "YouTube took it down, [but] Facebook kept it up.

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