Facebook on Friday placed a warning label on a video posted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) that features police officers being hit by drivers during the midst of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd — the same day the company announced a new policy to flag “newsworthy” posts from politicians that break its rules.
“This video may show violent or graphic content,” the warning on the GOP post reads. “We covered this video so you can decide if you want to see it.”
“It’s about destroying America,” the RNC video caption says. “Left-wing anarchists are using CHAOS to destroy America.”
The video features an incident with an NYPD officer being struck by a vehicle in what appeared to be a deliberate hit-and-run. It also features what appears to be a police cruiser on fire, as well as scenes from St. John’s Church, which has been vandalized during protests in Washington, D.C.
“As with other videos that feature this graphic hit-and-run, we’ve included a warning screen so people are aware the content may be disturbing,” a Facebook spokesperson told a CNN reporter.
The video opens with footage of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors saying “we are trained Marxists.” It also contains undated footage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying “I don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country,” as well as footage of “Squad” members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling to defund the police and Rep. Ilhan Omar calling to “completely dismantle” the Minneapolis Police Department.
On Friday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced that his social media platform would add warning labels and prompts to political posts that violate its policies. Zuckerberg said his decision came ahead of the 2020 election, and reflect “months of work with civil rights auditors.”
Zuckerberg’s new initiatives will provide “authoritative” voting information and work to fight voter suppression by removing misinformation about polling conditions. They will create a higher standard for “hateful content” in advertisements, according to Zuckerberg, who added that Facebook believes there is a public interest in allowing a wider range of free expression in personal posts than paid ads.
In addition, Facebook will now add more labels to content that violates its policies but is deemed newsworthy. Zuckerberg added that there is no newsworthiness exception for content that incites violence or suppresses voting.
In late May, Zuckerberg called out Twitter for attaching a fact-check to a tweet from President Trump. Twitter has since flagged three of Trump’s tweets.
“We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this,” Zuckerberg told Fox News’ Dana Perino on “The Daily Briefing.”
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he added. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded, saying: “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.”
“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth,'” Dorsey added. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.