January 22, 2022

Report: “Secret Facebook Program Reportedly Let Celebrities Avoid Moderation”

From The Verge:

Facebook maintains a secret program to exempt athletes, politicians, and other high-profile users from its typical moderation process, according to The Wall Street Journal. The program is reportedly meant to stop “PR fires,” or bad press caused by pulling down photos, posts, and other content from high-profile users that should have been allowed to stay up. In reality, the program just lets these users break the rules in ways that would have gotten most people into trouble, according to the report.


Facebook told the Journal that criticism of XCheck was warranted and the company is working to fix the program.

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That [WSJ] report, which cites internal Facebook documents, said there were at least 5.8 million VIP Facebook users in 2020.

Among them is soccer star Neymar. In 2019, he posted nude photos of a woman who had accused him of rape to his Facebook accounts, according to the report. This type of content would have typically been removed, but XCheck protected Neymar’s account and blocked Facebook moderators from taking it down right away.

Ultimately, 56 million Facebook and Instagram users saw Neymar’s content, according to the report.

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See Also: Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite That’s Exempt. (via WSJ, Subscribers Only)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.