The Facebook Files: We are not doing what we say we do publicly

A recent investigation from the Wall Street Journal revealed that while Facebook has long claimed that its standards of behaviors applied to everyone, it had created a fully fledged system allowing some of its more vocal, famous or powerful users to escape its moderation rules.

The system, called XCheck, allowed Facebook to create several tiers of users, whitelisting users that could pose a potential PR risk if the company were to take down their content. In effect, more than 5.8 million users were added to this elite tier, allowing some very high profile users to publish and disseminate content that didn’t comply with Facebook’s terms of use. 

Misleading its own Oversight Board

Perhaps the most interesting part of the Facebook Files is the revelation that Facebook had purposely misled not only the public, but also its own Oversight Board, a body it ironically created to ensure accountability.

While a lot had previously been written about the limitations of the Oversight board, presented by Facebook as an initiative in good faith to regulate itself, this presents yet another example of the difficulty to ensure internal and external accountability. 

« One in five teens say that Instagram makes them feel worse about themselves »

2019 Instagram Internal Slide Presentation

Also in the Facebook Files, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook was aware that its other app, Instagram was negatively affecting millions of teenagers, with internal studies finding that instagrams made body image problems worse for more than 30% of its teen girl users. Yet, it continued with plans to open Instagram to children under the age of 13. 

Find all the articles from the Facebook Files here

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