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Facebook’s oversight board says the company is not ‘entirely forthcoming’ on how it treats high-profile users

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Facebook’s independent oversight board on Thursday demanded more transparency from the social media giant, saying the company was not “entirely forthcoming” on how it deals with some high-profile user accounts.

The comments follow a Wall Street Journal report last month that said millions of Facebook accounts of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users were exempted from some internal investigation.

The board said Facebook has not been transparent with the company’s ‘cross-check’ system, an internal program the social media network says is used to double-check enforcement actions against some users.

“Facebook needs to commit to greater transparency and fair treatment of users,” the board said in a tweet.

With regard to its May decision to uphold the indefinite suspension of former US President Donald Trump’s account following the January 6 riots, the board said that when Facebook referred the matter, it did not mention the cross-check system. until he was asked.

“Given that the referral included a specific policy question regarding account-level enforcement for political leaders, many of whom the Board believed were covered by cross-checks, this omission is not acceptable. is,” it said.

Facebook has asked the board to review its cross-check system as a policy advisory opinion and make recommendations on how it can be changed.

A company spokesperson said the board’s work has been “impressive,” which is why it sought input into the cross-check system.

Facebook created the board primarily to address criticism over how it handles problematic content and is responsible for independent rulings on a number of thorny decisions related to content moderation.

Going forward, the Board will publish quarterly and annual transparency reports to assess whether its recommendations were implemented.

In its first quarter report, the board said that more than half a million Facebook and Instagram users submitted appeals between the end of October 2020 and June 2021, of which more than a third were related to content related to Facebook’s rules on hate speech. .

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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