Meta has finally agreed to modify its cross-check program for Facebook and Instagram. The program is used to exempt high-profile users from an automated moderation system. In a blog, it was announced that Meta to modify controversial cross-check program for its applications Facebook and Instagram. Meta was prompt to make the changes after Oversight Board shared its recommendation in the favor of modifying existing policies.
The Oversight Board or “Independent body” that reviewed Meta’s content moderation system shared 32 recommendations to the company to improve the cross-check program in December 2022. Meta has agreed to implement 11 recommendations completely and will adopt 15 recommendations partially.
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The cross-check program has been at the center of controversy since it was brought to light by a report shared by the Wall Street Journal. The report revealed that Meta was using the program to shield politicians and other high-profile users from its moderation system. The cross-check program allowed Meta to apply “additional levels of human review” to posts shared by high-profile figures to avoid mistakenly removing them from its platforms. The Oversight Board had highly criticized the program for being troubling and stated that the program, “appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns”
Meta has now agreed to implement recommendations by the board with immediate effect. Meta has also assured that they are committed to reducing cross-checking programs backlog, which was also highlighted by the board and could cause insensitive and harmful content to stay online for a longer time. Meta, however, has not agreed to implement five recommendations suggested by the board, including a measure to publicly mark some of the celebrities benefiting from the program. The company also rejected recommendations suggesting Meta notify a user that it will take longer for the company to act when they report a profile or post on cross-check platform.
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The Oversight Board hailed Meta’s response as a landmark moment in a Twitter thread. However, the board was not satisfied with Meta’s action and the changes it is planning to implement. But, the fact that Meta to modify controversial cross-check program gives some assurance that the company may take more steps in the future to make its platform more transparent and equal for everyone.
Several aspects of Meta’s response haven’t gone as far as we recommended to achieve a more transparent and equitable system. Meta declined the Board's suggestion that deserving users be able to apply for the protections afforded by cross-check.
— Oversight Board (@OversightBoard) March 3, 2023
Source: Meta Blog