Oversight Board wants answers on Facebook’s celebrity moderation program

The Supervisory Board, a semi-independent body that reviews Facebook’s moderation policies, said on Tuesday it wanted more information on the “cross-check” system used by Facebook to “review content decisions regarding certain high level users. »The overlap is called into question due to a report by The Wall Street Journal who claimed that the system allowed high-level users to break the rules.

“In light of recent developments, we are reviewing the extent to which Facebook has been fully available in its cross-check responses, including the practice of whitelisting,” the board wrote. “We expect to receive a briefing from Facebook in the next few days and will report what we hear from it as part of our first release of Quarterly Transparency Reports, which we will release in October.”

Cross-checking (sometimes referred to as XCheck) is supposed to add an extra level of control to high-profile moderation calls that could cause controversy for Facebook. But the Newspaper claims it covered a vast swath of 5.8 million people in 2020, and only 10 percent of messages sent to the program were reviewed by the second layer of specialized Facebook moderators. According to the report, users included in the program include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Conservative commentator Candace Owens and former President Donald Trump.

Trump’s relative overlap protection appeared in the board’s decision to uphold the former president’s Facebook ban. At the time, the board noted that there was little public information about cross-checking – a 2018 blog post is one of the most recent. He advised the company “to clearly explain the rationale, standards and review processes, including criteria for determining which pages and accounts are selected for inclusion.”

As with all actions of the Supervisory Board, Facebook allows itself some flexibility in the way it responds. The company has publicly committed to following the organization’s appeals on individual moderation decisions, but reserves the right not to follow broader recommendations. Nor is he legally bound to follow the board’s rules. With today’s announcement and renewed pressure to clarify a program with issues that Facebook is already working to address, we may finally know more about the controversial program.

About Georgia Duvall

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