Parent of toddler in 'manipulated' President Trump video forces Facebook and Twitter to remove it

The video posted on President Donald Trump's account of two toddlers was removed after one of the children's parents lodged a copyright claim.


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Facebook and Twitter on Friday removed a video posted by President Donald Trump's account of two toddlers after one of the children's parents lodged a copyright claim. The video had more than 4 million views on Facebook and more than 20 million views on Twitter before it was taken down.

The now-removed clip is from a video that went viral last year which shows a Black child and a White child running to hug each other. The version posted to Trump's account made it first appear as if the Black child was running away from the White child.

Jukin Media, a company that represents creators of videos including the parent who owns this video, said in a statement provided to CNN Business Friday afternoon, "Neither the video owner nor Jukin Media gave the president permission to post the video, and 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."

Jukin said in its statement that it had submitted a takedown request to Twitter. Jukin did not confirm it had sent the takedown request to Facebook, but Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, said "We received a copyright complaint from the rights holder of this video under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and have removed the post."

Twitter also confirmed it removed the video following a copyright claim.

After Trump tweeted the video late Thursday, Twitter first took added a warning that it was “manipulated media" and linked to a page that said multiple journalists confirmed the clip was edited to make it look like a CNN broadcast.

Michael Cisneros, the father of one of the boys in the video, said last year he had posted the original video to social media because he thought it was a beautiful, candid moment to share in the midst of racism and hate in the world.

"The reason that it's getting attention [is] because it is with a little black boy and a little white boy...But if it can change someone's mind, you know, or just change their view on things, then it's totally worth it," Cisneros said last year.

Facebook also has a manipulated media policy. The company declined to comment on whether the video violated that policy. Facebook took no action until a copyright claim was filed.

It's the latest salvo in the battle between Trump and tech companies, which he has accused of silencing conservative voices. Trump lashed out at Twitter last month after it added fact-check warnings to two of his tweets on mail-in voting, and vowed to add new regulations to rein in social media companies.

Twitter in March used the “manipulated media” warning to mark a video of Biden shared by Trump.