Facebook says its rules apply to all. Company documents reveal a secret elite that’s exempt.
“We are not actually doing what we say we do publicly.”
“Facebook routinely makes exceptions for powerful actors.”
“This problem is pervasive, touching almost every area of the company.”
A program known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users special treatment, a privilege many abuse
Mark Zuckerberg has publicly said Facebook Inc. allows its more than three billion users to speak on equal footing with the elites of politics, culture and journalism, and that its standards of behavior apply to everyone, no matter their status or fame.
In private, the company has built a system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, according to company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The program, known as “cross check” or “XCheck,” was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. Today, it shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process, the documents show. Some users are “whitelisted”—rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.
Here’s what we wrote on the subject of big tech earlier in the summer:
Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are the five largest publicly traded companies in America, comprising 20 percent of the stock market’s total worth. They have unprecedented reach into people’s lives, shaping how they work, communicate, shop and relax. And this reach has been deepened by coronavirus lockdowns, which have forced people to stay at home, surfing the Internet and shopping online. Suppose the White House can cow Big Tech into submission. In that case, it can achieve a level of control over people’s lives unheard of outside totalitarian dictatorships.
That is why Glenn Greenwald, a liberal himself, is accusing Democrats of a fascist power grab. And he is not the only political commentator making this comparison.
“Under the kindly eyes of Uncle Joe, we soon may find ourselves living under an updated version of the fascist ‘corporate state’—an alliance between political leaders and a handful of ultra-rich, ultra-powerful companies that increasingly dominate the economy and culture,” wrote Joel Kotkin, a fellow of urban studies at Chapman University, in his article “The Real Fascist Threat Was Never Trump—It’s Corporate Power.” “The original fascist corporate state developed in Italy protected private property but also sought to use the private sector to support the political ends of the state. We are seeing that broad pattern now with the rise, particularly in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, of what is heralded as ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ where private companies, rather than simply seeking out profit, genuflect to the left’s social agenda on issues of race, gender and green virtue. … Biden raised record sums from the corporate elite, notably the tech oligarchs and their Wall Street allies.”
Many of the politicians behind the merger between big government and Big Tech have been influenced by Marxist philosophy. But since these politicians cannot nationalize Big Tech like a traditional Communist state, they settle for controlling privately owned monopolies like a fascist state.