We're learning more this week about Facebook’s special VIP program that lets celebrities and politicians skirt the rules.
Facebook says it treats all its users equally. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that in private, the social media giant has a system that exempts about 5.8 million high-profile users from some or all of its rules. The program, called XCheck, has supposedly been around for years, shielding public figures of the company's choosing whose posts contain rule-breaking material. That content could include fake news, misinformation, or inappropriate language.
Dan Gainor, Vice President for Free Speech America/Business at the Media Research Center, calls Facebook’s program a system rife with abuse.
“Maybe it’s sort of like American society where the elite can kind of do whatever the heck they want and the rest of us actually have to obey the rules,” Gainor said. “It’s like you live in a small town, and the mayor double parks. Oh well, it’s the mayor. He can do whatever he wants.”
Facebook doesn't deny the program itself. However, they say the information by the Wall Street Journal is outdated, and they've improved their ability to identify and enforce violations on their site. The recent report could spark new investigations into how Facebook operates.