Facebook lets celebrities avoid censorship
Facebook lets celebrities avoid censorship

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has a broad plan to exclude athletes, politicians and other well-known users from the usual vetting process.

Mark Zuckerberg has publicly stated that the company enables more than 3 billion users to express themselves on an equal footing with political, cultural and media elites.

He added that the standard of conduct applies to everyone, regardless of status or reputation. But notably, the company has created a system that exempts known users from some or all of the rules.

The plan is to avoid PR issues caused by deleting photos, posts, and other content from known users.

According to the report, the software enables these users to break the rules in a way that causes problems for most people.

The software is called XCheck and it is designed to provide very modest quality control for advanced users.

User posts flagged by XCheck should be redirected to a group of better trained moderators to ensure that Facebook's rules are properly applied.

However, the plan reportedly protected 5.8 million people by 2020. According to a document seen by the newspaper, 10% of messages posted via XCheck were blocked.

Notable users protected by the plan include former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Elizabeth Warren, and Candice Owens. According to the report, users often do not know that they are receiving special treatment.

The platform told the newspaper that criticism of XCheck is justified. The system is designed to apply a precise strategy to content that may require further understanding. We've identified XCheck issues and are working to fix them.

Facebook lets celebrities avoid censorship

Then Andy Stone, Facebook's director of political communications, responded to the newspaper's report via Twitter. He said the system was announced back in 2018 in a blog post in which the company stated that it had a system capable of providing second-level audits for large accounts.

The company has a long-term and detailed regulatory policy. But these guidelines are clearly done at their own discretion, and if the deletion causes problems for the company, it usually leaves the main name or suspicious content behind.

According to newspaper articles, Facebook's system allows some of this news to remain online in some cases.

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