Meta’s Oversight Board wants Facebook to be more transparent about VIP accounts

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A 12 months in the past, The Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook operated a two-tiered content moderation system. Normal customers had been topic to the platforms said guidelines whereas VIP customers had been secretly flagged into particular in a program internally known as “cross check.”

That record included everybody from Brazilian soccer star Neymar and former President Donald Trump to conservative commentator Candace Owens and the corporate’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Per the WSJ, that system was designed to reduce cases wherein Facebook may reasonable content material from a VIP within the regular course of moderation and kick off a firestorm of dangerous press within the course of.

“If Facebook’s systems conclude that one of those accounts might have broken its rules, they don’t remove the content—at least not right away, the documents indicate,” the WSJ reported. “They route the complaint into a separate system, staffed by better-trained, full-time employees, for additional layers of review.”

Cross-check got here to gentle in mid September of final 12 months and by the top of the month the corporate was asking the Oversight Board, Meta’s semi-independent policy-making council, to review the system and suggest ways to fix it. “Specifically, we will ask the board for guidance on the criteria we use to determine what is prioritized for a secondary review via cross-check, as well as how we manage the program,” Meta VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote.

The Oversight Board is now again with their suggestions, calling for “significant improvements” to the cross-check program.

“For years, cross-check allowed content from a select group of politicians, business partners, celebrities, and others to remain on Facebook and Instagram for several days when it would have otherwise been removed quickly,” the group wrote in a weblog submit, noting that some content material that fell beneath cross-check has remained up for 7 months earlier than the corporate decided about whether or not to take away it.

The Oversight Board supplied 32 really useful adjustments to that course of, together with a number of steps that will make a beforehand secret program a lot more transparent. The board known as on the corporate to publish “clear criteria” describing what accounts are eligible for cross-check’s additional assessment course of, to visibly mark accounts which might be in this system and to enable individuals who may meet the necessities to apply for the particular account standing.

The board additionally requested that Meta prioritize “users who are likely to produce expression that is important for human rights” like journalists and civil rights teams within the cross-check system moderately than making these calls based mostly on its enterprise pursuits. “While the number of followers can indicate public interest in a user’s expression, a user’s celebrity or follower count should not be the sole criterion for receiving additional protection,” the board wrote. “If users included due to their commercial importance frequently post violating content, they should no longer benefit from special protection.”

The full set of suggestions, which is revealed on the Oversight Board’s weblog, calls on Meta to dramatically realign its content material moderation priorities for top profile customers. How a lot of this the corporate will really implement stays to be seen, however this complete course of actually appears like a well-oiled machine in contrast to the coverage setting occurring over at Twitter today.

Meta’s Oversight Board wants Facebook to be more transparent about VIP accounts by Taylor Hatmaker initially revealed on TechCrunch

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