In November 2021, Facebook came under fire after it was revealed that the social media giant was giving special treatment to high-profile users by giving them leeway to post content that violated its policies. After this so-called “cross-check” program came to light, Facebook’s independent Oversight Board called on the company to overhaul the system. And this week, Facebook finally announced that it will implement some — but not all — of the Board’s recommendations.
The cross-check program allegedly included 5.8 million users, including celebrities, politicians, journalists, and business partners like advertisers. Moving forward, Facebook says it will distinguish between accounts that are included in the program for business versus human rights reasons. However, the company said it will not implement some of the transparency measures proposed by the Board, including publicly marking the accounts participating in the program for fear of making them targets of bad actors.
“We are committed to maintaining transparency with the board and the public as we continue to execute on the commitments we are making,” Facebook parent company Meta said in a statement regarding the program.
While this is a small step in the right direction, the fact that Facebook ignored some of the Board’s proposals around transparency is telling.
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