Pelosi’s take-down demand is politically fascinating given how it publicly escalates the left’s attack on Big Tech, an industry that favors Democrats. Facebook employees, for instance, have given nearly 10 times more campaign cash to Democrats than Republicans since it was founded in 2004. But the policy implications are more important and concerning. It’s doubtful Pelosi really thought out the long-term implications of powerful politicians regularly pressuring social media firms to remove content that’s not advocating illegal action. (Facebook said it would remove the video only if it came from a bogus account or threatened public safety.)
It’s easy to imagine a certain “fake news” president demanding the removal of all manner of posts and videos. Maybe Trump will call for Saturday Night Live to remove “very unfair” sketches from its Facebook feed. This is a slippery slope coated in teflon.
And it’s not as if Facebook did nothing about the video. Far from it. The company reduced the video’s appearance in news feeds and added pop-up menus telling users there is “additional reporting” on the video.