When Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen shared a trove of internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal in 2021, some of the most dramatic revelations concerned the company’s use of a so-called “cross-check” system that, according to the Journal, essentially exempted certain high-profile users from the platform’s usual rules. After the Journal published its report, Facebook—which has since changed its name to Meta—asked the platform’s independent Oversight Board to weigh in on the program. And now, a year later, the Board has finally released its opinion.
On this episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Lawfare senior editors Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic sat down with Suzanne Nossel, a member of the Oversight Board and the CEO of PEN America. She talked us through the Board’s findings, its criticisms of cross-check, and its recommendations for Meta going forward.