(PatriotWise.com)- On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that, through a system referred to as “cross check” or “XCheck,” Facebook has exempted 5.8 million VIP users from some or all of the site’s moderation policies.
The program, initially designed to protect the company from bad publicity in case it moderated content for more high-profile users, has instead been used to shield those users from the rules that apply to everybody else.
Needless to say, this Wall Street Journal report did not sit well with one of Facebook’s former VIPs – former President Donald Trump.
In response to the report, President Trump released a statement attacking Facebook for secretly protecting its “elite” users. Calling Facebook and Big Tech “corrupt,” Trump pointed out that this article “should help my lawsuit against Big Tech.”
Trump, who was banned from Facebook after the January 6 melee at the Capitol, launched a class action lawsuit against the social media platform, along with Twitter and YouTube, back in July.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly argued that all users were held to the same standard of accountability for violating its rules. However, from what the Wall Street Journal reports, this claim is specious at best.
For example, after soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior posted a nude photo and name of a woman who accused him of rape, Facebook “whitelisted” Neymar’s account which prevented moderators from deleting the inappropriate post – this despite Facebook’s policy which automatically deletes the account of any user who posts unauthorized nude photos.
Even up until his suspension from Facebook, President Trump himself was part of the XCheck system. Also among those 5.8 million whitelisted accounts is the President’s son Donald Junior, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mark Zuckerberg and Candace Owens.
According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, XCheck permitted at least 16.4 billion posts that violated Facebook’s terms of service because they were posted by one of these VIPs.
According to Facebook spokesman Andy Stone, the social media giant is in the process of phasing out the whitelisting policies related to XCheck.
In the course of preparing their story, the Journal interviewed dozens of both current and former Facebook employees who said Facebook is aware of the flaws on its platform and the harm they cause, but remains either unwilling or unable to address them.
According to the Journal, one person seeking federal whistleblower protection has turned over documents to both the Securities and Exchange Commission and to Congress.