October 17, 2021

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Facebook Asks Oversight Board To Review Controversial Moderation Rules That Favor Celebrities

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Facebook has asked its Oversight Board, the independent regulatory body set up to help govern the social network, to review how it polices VIP users on its platform.

Facebook’s Cross-Check system offers a different set of content-moderation rules to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile names, a controversial strategy revealed in a recent Wall Street Journal investigation that has set up conflicting sets of guidelines for users.

“We know the system isn’t perfect. We have new teams and resources in place, and we are continuing to make improvements. But more are needed. The Oversight Board’s recommendations will be a big part of this continued work,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs writes in a blog post.

This request by Facebook HQ seems to be a response to the Oversight Board’s public comments last week calling on the company to turn over information about Cross-Check’s operations. The Oversight Board said it had previously been briefed on Cross-Check but needed additional answers and clarity about the program.

The overlapping messages and requests during the past week from the Oversight Board and Facebook reemphasize the two group’s tenuous relationship, a new and evolving one at best. The 20-person board was established last year as a Supreme Court-like entity to help the company establish rules and norms for the platform, something CEO Mark Zuckerberg has resisted codifying.

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