The oversight board at Facebook says it will review the social media giant’s “XCheck” system following a report from The Wall Street Journal, which found it allows VIP users to use the platform exempt from most or all of its rules and regulations.
The report from the Journal found that some VIP users are freely “posting material including harassment and incitement to violence that would typically lead to sanctions” without oversight or consequences bestowed on other users who violate these Facebook user policies.
One example highlighted in the report includes when Brazilian soccer player Neymar posted nude photos and video of a woman who accused him of rape in 2019. Though the post violates Facebook’s rules on “nonconsensual intimate imagery,” Neymar’s XCheck prevented the company’s moderators from removing the images for more than a day.
Users identified as qualifying for the XCheck include those deemed “newsworthy,” “PR risky,” and “influential or popular.” The Journal reports that by 2020 there were 5.8 million accounts included on the XCheck list.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Journal in a written statement that the criticisms of XCheck were “fair,” but said that the system “was designed for an important reason: to create an additional step so we can accurately enforce policies on content that could require more understanding.”
Facebook hasn’t responded to The Hill’s request for comment at this time.