All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
That famous quote is from George Orwell’s classic fictional tale, Animal Farm, but it could be aptly applied, it seems, to the world of Facebook today.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has created a program called “cross check” or “XCheck,” that applies a different standard of enforcing community content guidelines to those users deemed as famous or elites.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“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.”
The use of the XCheck system potentially adds another page to a growing book of claims that Facebook applies an unequal standard to questions of censorship, particularly against conservative and libertarian accounts or users when compared to others.
To read the full story in the Wall Street Journal, click here.