WSJ uncovers Facebook's secret policy that allows "elite" users to bully people and incite violence

Zuckerberg makes a big deal about Facebook's democratizing power, which puts all its users on equal footing and lets the truth speak to power. But given that Zuckerberg often states the opposite of what is true, it should come as no surprise that the social network has a secret policy that gives celebrities and powerful figures free rein to harass people, incite violence, and break other rules without consequence.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The program, known as "cross check" or "XCheck," was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. Today, it shields millions of VIP users from the company's normal enforcement process, the documents show. Some users are "whitelisted"—rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.

At times, the documents show, XCheck has protected public figures whose posts contain harassment or incitement to violence, violations that would typically lead to sanctions for regular users. In 2019, it allowed international soccer star Neymar to show nude photos of a woman, who had accused him of rape, to tens of millions of his fans before the content was removed by Facebook. Whitelisted accounts shared inflammatory claims that Facebook's fact checkers deemed false, including that vaccines are deadly, that Hillary Clinton had covered up "pedophile rings," and that then-President Donald Trump had called all refugees seeking asylum "animals," according to the documents.

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