Meta has agreed to change the cross-check programme for Facebook and Instagram, which exempts well-known users from the company’s automated moderation system.
The company responded to the Oversight Board’s suggestions in an updated blog post that was published on Friday.
It said it would change the criteria it uses to add people to the programme “to better account for human rights interests and equity” and make the cross-check system “more transparent through regular reporting.”
In December of last year, the Oversight Board, or the “independent body,” made a total of 32 recommendations on how Meta could enhance its cross-check programme. 11 of those recommendations have been fully adopted by Meta, and 15 have only been partially adopted.
Cross-checking on Facebook and Instagram came under fire after a 2021 Wall Street Journal report revealed that Meta had been using it to shield politicians, celebrities, and well-known athletes from its automated moderation system.
The system, according to Meta, enables the company to add “additional levels of human review” to high-profile figures’ posts in an effort to prevent unintentionally removing them.
The Oversight Board faulted the programme, saying it “appears more directly structured to satisfy business concerns” as opposed to advancing the company’s “human rights commitments” as it had previously claimed.
As part of its response, Meta consented to put into practice suggestions requiring it to act right away on content that was cross-checked and “identified as potentially severely violating.”
It also promised to address the backlog in the cross-check programme, which the Oversight Board had discovered might allow harmful content to remain online longer than it ought to.
The five recommendations, which include one to “publicly mark” some of the figures who benefit from the programme, are not being implemented by Meta, who is still “assessing the feasibility” of a rule that would allow figures to opt out of the cross-check programme.
Additionally, it rejected the Oversight Board’s suggestion that users be informed that if they report a post from a participant in the to cross-check programme, Meta may take more time to respond.
You can read the entire list of suggestions as well as Meta’s responses to each one here.
While describing Meta’s response as a “landmark moment” in a Twitter thread, the Oversight Board is not entirely pleased with the adjustments the business is prepared to make.
The Oversight Board claims that “Meta’s response hasn’t gone as far as we recommended to achieve a more transparent and equitable system” in a number of areas.
The Board suggested that Meta allow deserving users to apply for the cross-check protections, but Meta rejected the idea. In the upcoming days and weeks, we will continue to respond to Meta’s particular responses.