OTTAWA – A social media post shared by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was called “manipulated media” by Twitter late Sunday.
Trudeau retweeted a video of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s response in a 2020 interview on the subject of privatized health care.
In the music video, O’Toole gives an emphatic “yes” to whether he would allow provinces to experiment with providing private and non-profit services under universal coverage.
He goes on to explain how private sector participation can spur innovation.
The clip was first posted by Liberal candidate and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and streamed by Liberals throughout the day, including from Trudeau’s account.
Trudeau also incorporated it into his keynote speech at an event in New Brunswick, saying O’Toole was in favor of a private health care system for Canada.
But almost immediately after the video went live early Sunday morning, conservatives pointed out that the clip had been edited and crucially omitted O’Toole’s statement that universal coverage remains paramount.
In addition to the 35-second clip, the Liberals had also linked the entirety of O’Toole’s response, and they highlighted that fact on Sunday night in their response to Twitter’s decision.
“The highlights accurately reflect Mr. O’Toole’s statement in its entirety,” the Liberal campaign said in a statement.
“We do not agree with the assessment and ask for an explanation from Twitter. ”
Ahead of last year’s US presidential election, Twitter launched a policy of tagging posts if they felt they were misleading.
It was part of an effort to tackle the deliberate disinformation circulating online.
Their policy states that people must be able to find reliable information on Twitter, which means understanding whether the content is real or fabricated.
“Therefore, we may tag Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been altered or fabricated in a deceptive manner,” the policy states.
Freeland initially tweeted the clip twice, once slamming the Tory leader in English and a second time in French, though the video is the same in both.
Only the French tweet was marked by Twitter as manipulated.
“It is disappointing to see the Liberals resort to an American-style divisive policy,” said Mathew Clancy, media relations manager for the Conservative campaign.
“While Justin Trudeau and the Liberals focus on spreading false information, Erin O’Toole is focused on Canada’s recovery plan and securing the future.”
It was unclear how the tweet came to Twitter’s attention. Any user can report a tweet for potentially misleading content.
Earlier in the election, the Conservatives saw one of their own messages deleted from Twitter after the web company received a complaint it violated copyright laws.
The post contained a parody video using a scene from the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” with a cutout of Trudeau’s face superimposed on a character having a temper tantrum for not getting what she wants.
Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to Code of conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.