Joan Herbert posted a video on social networks more than a month ago where she expressed her support for President Trump with a series of written messages that were later used as part of the campaign. However, an anti-Trump group edited the video and circulated it, modifying the supporting texts to messages of repudiation and criticism of the president.
According to the Washington Examiner, Herbert was filmed sitting quietly and showing a series of posters with texts supporting the Trump administration. The video was used as a campaign spot for President Trump, and Herbert was proud to have been able to support him in that way but was surprised when she later saw what her video had become.
"I’m afraid to say this out loud…" pic.twitter.com/4OzFPjSWMX
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 3, 2020
“I’m afraid to say this out loud. I won’t risk my children’s future with Biden,” reads one.
Within hours of the video being posted on social networks, it was picked up by an anti-Trump group and edited to replace their reference cards with words attacking the president and his record.
“I voted for Trump in 2016. It was the biggest mistake of my life,” one reads.
The altered video has been available on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube since Aug. 3. Despite Herbert’s efforts to remove it, its creators insist that it’s clearly a joke and since it’s not designed to harm, there’s nothing wrong with its being broadcast and it doesn’t have to be removed.
— Republican Voters Against Trump (@RVAT2020) August 3, 2020
A spokesman for the Trump campaign told the Washington Examiner that the “rules about removing misinformation” on social networks were being applied unfairly and that Herbert is another victim of Silicon Valley’s anti-conservative bias.
“Joan Herbert embraced her First Amendment right to express her views in support of President Trump, and in return, the left exploited that expression—and the arbitrary ‘rules’ created by social media companies aren’t helping her fix the issue,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Samantha Zager said in a statement.
In contrast, Zager noted that the president’s social networking accounts appeared to be subject to much stricter rules that led to several censors of his publications.
There were many cases of censorship that President Trump received on the campaign trail. As recently as last week, President Trump’s campaign posted a tweet with a small excerpt from a speech by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Twitter placed a label that marks the message as a product of “manipulated media.”
Joe Biden says "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America!" pic.twitter.com/wSKe4N1XzF
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 31, 2020
“If these companies refuse to take the manipulated video down because it is within their rules for parody or commentary, then those rules should apply equally to every account—but they clearly don’t, as we’ve seen these same companies take down parody videos that the President or his campaign reposts,” Zager said.