A “manipulated” video featuring two toddlers posted by President Donald Trump to make an ugly political point has been removed by both Facebook and Twitter after a parent of one of the children accused Trump of violating copyright law.
The video was initially marked Friday by Twitter as “manipulated media.”
The original film, posted a year ago, features two little boys, one white and the other Black, running down a sidewalk to hug each other. The video was mangled to show just a portion of the video when the boys take off down the street with the Black toddler running ahead of his white friend. A fake CNN chyron with the video reads: “Terrified todler runs from racist baby” — with “toddler” misspelled.
A message at the end of the video reads: “America is not the problem. Fake news is.” Ironically, it was the president’s post that was fake. The twisted video was posted to Trump’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Jukin Media, a company that represents creators of videos, including the parent who owns the original video, issued a statement that the president did not have permission to use the film.
“After our review, we believe that his unauthorized usage of the content is a clear example of copyright infringement without valid fair use or other defense,” it added. The statement also noted: “In no way do we support or condone the manipulated video or the message it conveys.”
Michael Cisneros, the Manhattan father of one of the toddlers, wrote in a Facebook post Thursday night responding to the video posted by Trump: “HE WILL NOT TURN THIS LOVING, BEAUTIFUL VIDEO TO FURTHER HIS HATE AGENDA!! !! !! !!”
Cisneros said last year he posted the film to social media because he thought it was a beautiful moment to post amid racism and hate in the world, CNN reported.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Cisneros was the parent represented by Junkin.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told HuffPost in an email: “We received a copyright complaint from the rights holder of this video under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and have removed the post.”
A Twitter spokesperson explained: “Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives.”
The altered video posted by Trump was reportedly created by Carpe Donktum, a notorious pro-Trump meme maker. Trump posted the video amid anti-racism protests across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd during a brutal arrest by Minneapolis cops. The message seems to mock the idea that racism exists — and to scold CNN, yet again, for “fake news.”
On Thursday, Facebook removed nearly 100 ads that featured Nazi iconography and were published on the social media platform by Trump’s reelection campaign the previous day. The ads included inverted triangles, which Nazis used to identify political prisoners in concentration camps.
The toddler video had more than 20 million views on Twitter and 4 million views on Facebook before it was taken down.