The company has reportedly implemented a program that allows a list of famous people not to be moderated like ordinary users. Up to 5.8 million people are said to have been affected.
A Facebook program would allow some celebrities not to obey the same content moderation rules as the rest of the users, according to a survey by the Wall Street Journal published September 13. Up to 5.8 million people would have been affected in 2020, according to the daily, which mentions in particular the presence in this list of members of the political elite, journalists, and other celebrities.
The “XCheck” program would not apply the same controls to messages posted on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of these people as for normal accounts, assures the business daily, citing internal company documents. Two categories of privileged users would have been put in place: those who are outright exempt from these rules, and those who can post messages contrary to the charter while waiting for a Facebook employee to review them.
the Wall Street Journal advances several cases: Facebook would have for example allowed in 2019 the footballer Neymar to post for his millions of subscribers naked photos of a woman who accused him of rape. Moderators were reportedly prevented from removing this content, which was subsequently viewed by 56 million users, before the athlete deleted it on his own. The group has also reportedly let certain accounts share claims deemed false by Facebook fact-checkers, such as that Hillary Clinton covered pedophile networks or that ex-President Donald Trump called all applicants “animals”. asylum.
However, social status alone would not allow everything to be published on the social network, judging by the suspension of Donald Trump’s account, while he was President of the United States …
Facebook says it’s not a two-tier system
Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, assured that there were not “two systems of justice” in terms of moderation; simply according to him, “certain pages or profiles are subjected to a second layer of verification to ensure” that moderation is applied in line with company rules, in order to “avoid errors”. “We know that the application of our rules is not perfect and there are trade-offs between speed and precision,” he added.
As we said in 2018: “’Cross-check’ simply means that some content from certain Pages or Profiles is given a second layer of review to make sure we’ve applied our policies correctly.” There aren’t two systems of justice; it’s an attempted safeguard against mistakes.
– Andy Stone (@andymstone) September 13, 2021
For the supervisory board of the company, the implementation of special measures on the moderation of content is embarrassing: according to its spokesperson, the organization “has repeatedly expressed its concern about the lack of transparency in the processes moderation of Facebook content, in particular with regard to the inconsistent management by the company of the most visible accounts ”.
In addition, a 2019 audit found that Facebook did not always keep track of who it placed under “XCheck” and for what reason, which poses “many legal, compliance and legitimacy risks for the company and damage to our community ”, according to the economic daily which revealed the affair.