Facebook Oversight Board Rebukes Company Over VIP Rules

Facebook Inc.’s Oversight Board said the social media company hadn’t been “fully forthcoming” about internal rules that allowed some high-profile users to be exempt from content restrictions and said it will make recommendations on how to change the system.

In the first of its quarterly transparency reports published Thursday, the board said that on some occasions, Facebook “failed to provide relevant information to the Board,” and in other instances the information it did provide was incomplete.

For example, when Facebook referred the case involving former President Donald Trump to the board, it didn’t mention its internal “cross-check system” that allowed for a different set of rules for high-profile users. Facebook only mentioned cross-check, or XCheck, to the board when asked whether Trump’s page or account had been subject to ordinary content moderation processes.

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According to the Wall Street Journal’s recent reports, the Cross-Check System was revealed in part due to documents from a whistleblower. The Journal explained how the cross-check system was originally designed as a quality control measure for select high-profile users. It was intended to prevent public backlash against famous individuals who have had their posts removed.

According to the Oversight Board, it would conduct a cross-check system review and offer suggestions for improvements. Facebook will share relevant documents regarding the cross-check system with the Oversight board as part of this process. This was reported by the Wall Street Journal.


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