Facebook: A Pattern That Matches the Zuck

September 20, 2021

The laws of the United States (and most countries) are equally applied to everyone, unless you are rich and powerful. Facebook certainly follows this rule of thumb according to The Guardian article, “Facebook: Some High-Profile Users ‘Allowed To Break Platform’s Rules.’” Facebook has to sets of rules, one for high profile users and everyone else. The Wall Street Journal investigated Facebook’s special list.

Rich and powerful people’s profiles, such as politicians, journalists, and celebrities, are placed on a special list that exempts them from Facebook’s rules. The official terms for these shortlisted people are “newsworthy”, “influential or popular” or “PR risky” The special list is called the XCheck or “CrossCheck” system. Supposedly if these exempt people do post any rule breaking content, it is subject to review but that never happens. There are over 5.8 million people on the XCheck system and the list continues to grow:

The WSJ investigation details the process known as “whitelisting”, where some high-profile accounts are not subject to enforcement at all. An internal review in 2019 stated that whitelists “pose numerous legal, compliance, and legitimacy risks for the company and harm to our community”. The review found favouritism to those users to be both widespread and “not publicly defensible”.

Facebook said that the information The Wall Street Journal dug up were outdated and glosses over that the social media platform is actively working on these issues. Facebook is redesigning CrossCheck to improve the system.

Facebook is spouting nothing but cheap talk. Facebook and other social media platforms will allow rich, famous, and powerful people to do whatever they want on their platforms. It does not make sense why Facebook and other social media platforms allow this, unless money is involved.

Whitney Grace, September 20, 2021

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