High-profile users on Facebook are exempt from some or all of the social media giant’s rules, according to internal company documents accessed by the Wall Street Journal. A company programme known as ‘cross-check’ or ‘Xcheck’ reportedly allows millions of VIP users to post on the platform unchecked by Facebook's Community Standards. When questioned about whitelisting practices, the company also reportedly misled its Oversight Board, telling them that Xcheck only impacted 'a small number of decisions'. Xcheck was initially intended as a quality control measure for action taken against high-profile accounts. The programme, however, ended up granting immunity to public figures from action, including in cases where their posts amounted to harassment or incited violence, according to a 2019 internal review of the company’s whitelisting practices accessed by WSJ. In the past, Facebook has routinely claimed that all users on its platforms are held to the same standards. But the WSJ report shows that when it comes to enforcing Facebook’s guidelines, the company maintains explicit segregation between ordinary users and VIPs. The company's decision to mislead its own Oversight Board also raises questions about whether the Board can keep Facebook in check. Xcheck users got away with harassment, inflammatory claims: Facebook Internal Review Facebook’s confidential 2019 internal review of the company’s whitelisting practices recounted multiple instances where public figures were treated differently when found in violation of the company’s guidelines. In 2020, Xcheck allowed posts that violated its rules to be viewed at least 16.4 billion times, WSJ reported. Sexual Harassment:…
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