According to the company’s oversight board, Facebook didn’t provide crucial details about their “Cross-Check” program which as per reports protected millions of its VIP users from the social media platform’s normal content moderation.
The tech giant “has not been fully forthcoming on Cross-Check,” the oversight board said in a report published on Thursday. “On some occasions, Facebook failed to provide relevant information to the Board, while in other instances, the information it did provide was incomplete,” it added.
Cross-Check is used by Facebook to review thr content decisions that are related to high-profile user like politicians, celebrities and journalists. As per the Wall Street Journal, the program had mushroomed to include 5.8 million users in 2020.
The Facebook Oversight Board is an entity which is made up of many experts in different areas such as freedom of expression and human rights. These experts operate independently but are appointed by the company. Because it allows users to appeal content decisions made on Facebook-owned platforms, the Oversight Board is often referred to as a kind of Facebook Supreme Court.
The Wall Street Journal used internal company documents in a report published last month to show that Cross-Check protects VIPs from Facebook’s (FB) normal enforcement processes. In practice, this means that posts that break the company’s rules aren’t removed right away, and certain people are exempt from disciplinary action.
“At times, the documents show, [Cross-Check] has protected public figures whose posts contain harassment or incitement to violence, violations that would typically lead to sanctions for regular users,” according to the Journal.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Journal in a written statement that criticism of Cross-Check was fair, but added that the system “was designed for an important reason: to create an additional step so we can accurately enforce policies on content that could require more understanding.”