Facebook has a secret program that lets celebrities do what they want because rules are for losers
The program protects high-profile names from Facebook’s moderation.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to most people to find out that Facebook has a system that allows certain VIPs to circumvent the platform’s rules. Today, we got a good look at the company’s program, called XCheck, which “whitelists” certain people, letting them ignore some of the platform’s rules altogether.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, XCheck, also known as “cross check,” has been around on Facebook for years. It initially started as a way to help moderate interactions with high-profile accounts, like celebrities, politicians, and journalists.
Today, the program has evolved to shield millions of “VIP” users from Facebook’s moderation practices. Many of these users are whitelisted and basically exempt from the company’s moderation. This leaves room for high-profile pages to spread misinformation, violence, or other topics that would get someone banned without any repercussions.
Some VIP users that are part of the XCheck program include Donald Trump (before his two-year platform ban), Donald Trump Jr., Senator Elizabeth Warren, and many others.
In response to these new details, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone referred us to a statement that the company made about the program back in 2018. Quoting the statement, he said, “‘Cross-check’ simply means that some content from certain Pages or Profiles is given a second layer of review to make sure we’ve applied our policies correctly.” There aren’t two systems of justice; it’s an attempted safeguard against mistakes.”
Stone went on to confirm that the program needed work. He says the company has, “new teams, new resources and an overhaul of the process that is an existing work-stream at Facebook.”
Sure, Facebook says it recognizes there’s a problem with this program, but do we really think the company is going to stop giving special treatment to celebrities? Probably not.
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