Facebook Slammed By Oversight Board For “Withholding Information” In Trump Case

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was condemned by its Oversight Board on Thursday, which claimed the internet giant had withheld information during the case about its cross-check program –which spares millions of VIP users the compliance of Facebook’s content moderation policy– and Donald Trump.

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Trump’s Case

As reported by the New York Post, the board accused Facebook of withholding or providing partial information about the company’s cross-check program, which was initially uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, citing internal company documents.

“Facebook did not inform the Oversight Board about the program, as it should have, when it referred the case of Trump’s suspension from the platform to the board,” the NYP asserts.

In a statement, regarding Donald Trump’s case, the board stated: “Given that the referral included a specific policy question about account-level enforcement for political leaders, many of whom the Board believes were covered by cross-check, this omission is not acceptable.”

“Facebook noted that for teams operating at the scale of millions of content decisions a day, the numbers involved with cross-check seem relatively small, but recognized its phrasing could come across as misleading,” the board said.


Back in May, Facebook’s Oversight Board backed the company’s decision to block Trump from its social media platforms, “but said an indefinite suspension of his account was inappropriate, and gave the company six months to lay out new penalties.”

The board also announced Thursday it would review the cross-check program at Facebook’s request, as the company requested guidance on several aspects.

Among them, the board said, “how to ensure fairness and objectivity in cross-check reviews, taking into account context; how to govern cross-check and promote transparency; and the criteria it uses to determine who is included in cross-check and how to ensure this is equitable.”

Facebook said in a statement it was thankful to the board “for their ongoing work and for issuing their transparency report.”

“We believe the board’s work has been impactful, which is why we asked the board for input into our cross-check system, and we will strive to be clearer in our explanations to them going forward,” a spokesman said.

Facebook is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.