How to Defend Yourself Against Malicious Video Edits

This article will center around video interviews.

You may have noticed the tendency for the public to request full, unedited interviews with public figures for the purpose of transparency. This ask is being driven by the behavior of those supplying video content to edit their clips in ways that perpetuate an agenda.

Though the general public has an understanding that video editing can be used for malicious purposes, a deeper analysis of why the act of video editing is a powerful weapon should be done.

A vast amount of media content consumed is in the video format. People learn, are entertained, and are informed through video. One video has the potential to reach millions of people around the world, and the message contained in that video can cause behavior change favorable for a variety of causes and detrimental to others.


Conviction Is Contextual

The conviction with which you speak is most powerful in specific moments in time. If you are practicing for a presentation, the many repetitions that you perform can be home to varying levels of conviction. You can nail it in one instance and sound like an absolute bore in another.

This concept applies to moments in which you are answering questions. During an interview, you will have moments of conviction and moments of dullness. There are not many people who can master the art of convincing and effective speech to last for an entirety of a conversation. Moments of authentic conviction are often difficult to replicate and match. If taken out of context, your moments of conviction during interviews can be difficult to defend against.

The reason the conviction with which you speak is important to note, is because malicious edits often use conviction as a surefire way to propagate falsehood. It becomes difficult to defend against moments taken out of context because your logical rebuttal to the malicious editing at play is difficult to carry out with the same level of conviction.

Even if all the facts are on your side, the effect of that conveniently edited moment carries the power of spontaneous, effective, and convicted speech. Malicious edits can capture powerful moments in your speech patterns, in which you sound the most influential and charismatic. If these edits aim to portray moments which are unfavorable to the general populous, they may spread at a high rate notwithstanding the facts of the matter at hand.


The Horse’s Mouth Does Not Tell Lies

When there is video and audio evidence (even if it is edited out of context) of you saying things that others find offensive, you have to tread the lines of defending yourself with care. Though your intent may be misrepresented, you did in fact say the things you’re seen and heard saying. What you say in your defense against being misrepresented is sensitive to interpretation.

It’s imperative to not label yourself as having “misspoke,” or “not meaning to say those things.” If time goes by, and you change your tune by taking back what you said in a prior interview, you’ll force people to decide which version they should believe. Should they believe the first version of you stating controversial beliefs with conviction? Or should they believe your regretful response to the criticism due to a maliciously edited sequence?

It seems that most people are enticed to believe the first, convicted, instance of seeing your face and hearing voice in such a situation. They will have a preference to succumb to the primacy effect, and will believe your seemingly unedited and convicted speech over your apologetic, regretful, or excuse-filled rebuttal.

Unless, you’ve honestly changed your mind, accept all things you said in your past, and do not contradict the “horse’s mouth.” Resist the bait to contradict yourself, and take power away from edited footage forcing you into that contradictory position. Accept what you said and explain the role that editing played in your scenario should you get caught-up in one.

Acceptance of your prior words is powerful in shining the beacon of public attention onto those who’ve maliciously edited what you’ve said. Your act of doubling down on your maliciously edited video or voice clips will take people by surprise.

Though they may have expressed “outrage” about what you’ve been edited in saying, they expect regret and apology, not utter confidence in the full version of the interview at play. You’ll entice them to be interested in seeing the full interview, in order to try and prove their outrage to be correct. In doing so, you’ll place pressure on the respective interviewer(s) to release full, unedited recordings of the conversation in question.

Always try to take the preventative approach and be in control of the editing process with any content that you put out. Edited content is powerful because it places you in a position against yourself. It puts the authentic mask of your own face and voice on the faces and voices of those who are out for no good.

Read our analyses of current events by becoming a subscriber.

Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.