For Immediate Release: September 14, 2021
Color Of Change: Facebook’s Calculated Cover Up of XCheck Program Proves the Company Cannot Be Trusted to Self-Regulate
NATIONWIDE — In response to new revelations reported by the Wall Street Journal today about Facebook’s XCheck program and the company’s whitelisting practices exempting high-profile users from content moderation rules, Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson issued the following statement:
“This damning new evidence detailing Facebook’s XCheck program, which reveals the company’s blatant efforts to cover up its shameful whitelisting practices, solidifies what civil rights advocates like Color Of Change have been warning for years — Facebook cannot be trusted to self-regulate, and allowing its leaders to conduct business as usual will continue to bring extensive harm to Black and other marginalized communities, our society, and our democracy.
Facebook will continue to prioritize profit and power above all else, even if its leaders’ blind allegiance to growth can result in serious harm or death — and even if it requires breaching the trust of its global community. We know definitively that Facebook’s leaders, as they state themselves in the newly-released documents, are systematically lying to users, the public, and even its own Oversight Board about the fact that it is broadly exempting high-profile users from content moderation policy enforcement. Worse, Facebook’s whitelisting practices were not disclosed in its Civil Rights Audit, which the company conducted only after Color Of Change demanded it for years.
This pattern of premeditated deceit and downplaying on Facebook’s part is not new. It’s their standard playbook to avoid accountability at any cost. In response to our numerous calls for transparency into its content moderation policies and enforcement mechanisms, Facebook has consistently claimed the company does everything within its power to address the hateful and violent content that proliferates on its platform and puts Black lives at risk. That is simply not true. If Facebook is willing to go this far to not only breed a fundamentally unfair system but also conceal it in such callous fashion, it begs the question: What other duplicitous and dangerous practices has the company withheld from the world?
The evidence is as overwhelming as the solution is clear. Congress and the Biden-Harris administration must urgently intervene and create new rules of the road for Big Tech to rein in Facebook’s stronghold on our wellbeing and our democracy.”
About Color Of Change:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.