Facebook has strict guidelines for its platform. Anyone who does not follow them is reprimanded or removed from the network. However, this apparently does not apply to everyone, as research on “Facebook XCheck” has now shown.
In the second quarter of 2021 alone, Facebook classified around 794 million pieces of content as spam and therefore deleted them. In the first quarter of the year, it was even 919 million.
This is based on the platform’s strict rules. But these obviously don’t apply to everyone, as research by the Wall Street Journal now reveals.
What’s behind Facebook XCheck
Around 5.8 million user:ins on Facebook are excluded from complying with Facebook’s guidelines. The basis for this is the internal Facebook XCheck system, which excludes high-profile user:ins from typical moderation processes.
These high-profile users include accounts that are “newsworthy,” “influential or popular,” or “PR risky.” These can include athletes:inside, politicians:inside, as well as stars and starlets.
According to the Wall Street Journal, they include former U.S. President Donald Trump, soccer star Neymar, and Senator Elizabeth Warren. But accounts such as those of the famous dog “Doug, the pug” are also among them.
For the accounts marked by XCheck, Facebook is even supposed to use better trained moderators. However, according to the research, less than ten percent of the content previously reported as questionable by XCheck is reviewed.
Resentment among employees about Facebook XCheck
Facebook’s own employees are apparently not happy with the two-class system. According to the Wall Street Journal, a Civil Team executive, among others, has made negative comments. This is because special treatment for selected users is not in line with Facebook’s values.
“Having different language rules for different people is very troubling to me,” the Wall Street Journal quoted one employee as saying in an internal memo. Another employee also said Facebook was “influenced by political considerations” in moderation decisions.
Some of the internal documents are now being forwarded to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress. The whistleblower is to be included in the so-called Whistleblower Protection Program of the USA via the Wall Street Journal.