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Meta Oversight Board Criticizes Moderation Process for VIP Users

Meta’s Oversight Board said that it found ‘several shortcomings in Meta’s cross-check program.’

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Meta Platforms
‘ oversight board criticized the tech-giant’s “cross-check” program on Tuesday and offered the company several recommendations on how to improve it.

The oversight board is an independent body that people can go to if they don’t agree with decisions the company made about content Facebook and Instagram. That body posted a report on Tuesday with research that was conducted in response to a Wall Street Journal article from 2021 that claimed the company “exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules.”

In the report, the board said that it found “several shortcomings in Meta’s cross-check program.” The cross-check program is defined by Meta as a system used to help ensure that enforcement decisions are made accurately and with additional levels of human review.

“While Meta told the board that cross-check aims to advance Meta’s human rights commitments, we found that the program appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns,” the report said. “The Board understands that Meta is a business, but by providing extra protection to certain users selected largely according to business interests, cross-check allows content which would otherwise be removed quickly to remain up for a longer period, potentially causing harm.”

The oversight board said that the cross-check program grants some users greater protection than others, and that it is “concerned” over a “lack of transparency around how cross-check works.”

It then provided a list of recommendations to Meta to improve this system, including increasing transparency over its cross-checking process, “prioritizing expression that is important for human rights,” and reducing harm that’s caused by certain content left up during enhanced reviews.

When asked to comment, Meta pointed Barron’s to its public response to the Oversight Board’s report. Meta said in the response that it has already done some work to help improve the cross-check program, but to fully address the number of recommendations, it will provide a more in-depth response to the board to review within 90 days.

Meta shares were down 0.2% in premarket trading Tuesday. The stock has fallen 63% this year.

Write to Angela Palumbo at angela.palumbo@dowjones.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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