TWITTER has branded Donald Trump's tweet about a "racist baby" as "manipulated media" as the struggle between the social media giant and the President's content continues.

Sources have confirmed that the video, which was shared by the President, was edited and featured a fake CNN electronically generated caption.

It was circulated by Trump in order to mock CNN and "fake news" – but meant the President's tweet was actually flagged instead.

The edited video prompted Twitter to add a disclaimer, warning users that it was "manipulated media" and linked to a web page outlining Twitter policies relating to selectively edited clips.

The page confirmed: "On Thursday (18 June) the President shared a version of the video which many journalists confirmed was edited and doctored with a fake CNN chyron."

Following their guidelines, the President's tweet was marked because: "You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm.

"In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context."

The real meaning of the viral video, reported on back in September 2019, was about the friendship between two toddlers, running towards each other and hugging, before chasing after one another in a playful way.

Maxwell and Finnegan, the two boys, were heralded in the viral clip for their adorable friendship.

However, the edited version posted by the President instead shows Finnegan chasing Maxwell with the fake caption: "Breaking News.

"Terrified toddler runs from racist baby."

After a few seconds, the doctored CNN headline changes to: "Racist baby probably a Trump voter."

A black screen then appears, with the words: "What actually happened," followed by the original clip of the two boys running towards each other and embracing with open arms.

This snippet was then followed by the footage of Finnegan running after Maxwell – which featured at the beginning of the clip with the doctored headline caption.

The video ends with a blacked-out screen that shows the message: "America is not the problem. Fake news is. If you see something, say something.

"Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires."

A CNN spokesperson addressing Trump said: "CNN did cover this story – but exactly as it happened.

"Just as CNN has reported your positions on race (and your poll numbers).

"We'll continue working with facts and invite you to do the same, rather than tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children.

"Be better."

This comes just 24 hours after the Justice Department revealed plans to limit big tech platforms' legal protections from being sued – meaning that platforms like Twitter and Facebook would have less control over what they can declare as "objectionable" content.

Plans are outlined in a document which seeks to amend the act, meaning it is subject to both the House and the Senate taking up the proposals.

There are currently no limits on what Google or other media companies can call "objectionable," or requirements to explain in advance what they might define in that way, or how.


This is not the first time Trump has come into conflict with Twitter – with the social media site slapping a warning on his tweet calling George Floyd rioters "thugs."

Mr Trump’s message about the disturbances in Minneapolis sparked by the death of George Floyd warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” and labelled those taking part in the riots were “thugs”.

The comment came as a third night of violent disturbances took place in Minneapolis and other demonstrations took place in other US cities after a police officer was pictured kneeling on George Floyd’s head with the man later dying.

Trump has also accused Twitter of trying to stifle conservative voices after two of his tweets about mail-in voting were labelled potentially misleading. 

Back in May, the President tweeted: "Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election."

"If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost.

"Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!"

The social media giant has also taken steps to start alerting users to posts that contain misleading information on the coronavirus pandemic, in an attempt to confront misinformation.

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