Facebook has secretly created a system that exempts VIP users of the social network from its key rules

Facebook has secretly created a system that exempts VIP users of the social network from its key rules

Although the founder of the social network, Mark Zuckerberg, has publicly stated that Facebook does not distinguish political, cultural and journalistic elites among its three billion users and that its standards are the same for everyone, this is simply not the case, writes WSJ.

As the publication specifies, the control of the records of such users is carried out by a special program known as "cross-checking" or XCheck. Some users are directly whitelisted and completely exempt from Facebook sanctions (for example, from being banned), while others are allowed to immediately publish content that violates the rules, subject to further approval by Facebook employees.

Users monitored by this program, without any sanctions, published posts with statements about the lethality of the coronavirus vaccine, about Hillary Clinton's connection with a secret organization of pedophiles and quoted Donald Trump, who called "animals" seeking asylum in the United States.

The documents show that there were at least 5.8 million accounts in XCheck in 2020. The internal guidelines on the acceptability of cross-validation set out criteria for whitelisting, including "decent press coverage" and "influence or popularity". The program reaches out to virtually everyone who appears regularly in the media or has a significant online following, including movie stars, talk show hosts, academics, and high-follower bloggers.

The WSJ explains how Internet scandals involving famous personalities have occurred with the help of Facebook "exceptions". So, in 2019, footballer Neymar posted nude photos of a woman who accused him of rape. The post was viewed by tens of millions of users before it was deleted by Facebook. Other whitelisted accounts have repeatedly posted inflammatory claims that Facebook's verification services have already been deemed fake, including the deadly harm of Covid-19 vaccines and a "pedophile conspiracy" involving Hillary Clinton.

Facebook contacted some of the VIPs who violated the platform's policy and gave them a 24-hour “self-fix” window to remove content that violates the rules on their own, the newspaper writes.

The WSJ found out that this type of verification was introduced in order to improve the reputation, since there had been a number of incidents with illegal blocking of accounts of famous personalities in the past.

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