Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook uses a program that exempts millions of VIP users from the company’s standard content moderation practices.
According to internal documents obtained by the Journal, the program is known as “cross check” or “XCheck.” It produces specific rules for content moderation for millions of VIP accounts on Facebook and Instagram.
XCheck has occasionally shielded public figures whose posts contain harassment or incitement to violence, which would typically result in sanctions for regular users.
Facebook’s artificial intelligence technologies or contracted content moderators find their posts to violate the company’s rules. Their content can be taken down immediately. However, users in the XCheck program may see their content remain live on Facebook’s services before being routed through a separate moderation system.
Reports said that there would be at least 5.8 million VIP Facebook users in 2020.
Neymar, the Brazilian soccer star, is one of them. He posted nude photos of a woman who had accused him of rape to his Facebook accounts in 2019.
Usually, this type of content would be removed immediately, but XCheck protected Neymar’s account and prevented Facebook moderators from doing so.
According to the report, Neymar’s content was seen by 56 million Facebook and Instagram users.