LONDON — The oversight board of Meta, a quasi-independent body of Facebook’s parent company, said Tuesday that an internal system that has exempted high-profile users like former President Donald Trump from some or all of its privacy rules Content moderation requires a thorough overhaul.
The report, which the board produced over more than a year, says the system contains “failures in crucial areas that the company must remedy.”
Meta asked the board to investigate the system after the Wall Street Journal reported last year that many elite users were committing abuses by posting material that ordinary people would deserve punishment for harassment, incitement to violence and other crimes. .
According to reports, Facebook’s rules apparently did not apply to certain VIP users, while others had their content reviewed for possible rule violations, according to the Journal article, which said the system had at least 5.8 million users. exempt users in 2020.
The existence of Facebook’s system — dubbed “XCheck,” or cross-check — came to light in documents leaked by Frances Haugen, a former production manager turned whistleblower who shot herself to global headlines with her allegations of that the social network prioritized profits over online safety. Following these revelations, regulatory bodies moved to crack down on hate speech and misinformation.
Nick Clegg, Meta’s president for global affairs, tweeted that the company requested a system magazine “so we can continue our work to improve the program.”
To fully respond to the board’s recommendations, “we have agreed to respond within 90 days,” he said.
The company said the goal of “XCheck,” which applies to Facebook and Instagram, was to prevent “surveillance abuse,” or the removal of texts mistakenly believed to violate the platform’s rules.
The oversight board report says that as a result of the cross-checking system, there was unequal treatment of users and delays in removing content that violated the rules because it was subject to five checks. Decisions took on average more than five days.
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