A report by Meta Platforms, Inc.'s META oversight board has urged the social media giant to make major changes to its internal system for reviewing content from politicians, celebrities, and business partners.
The Financial Times reported that Meta's partiality with high-profile users, like former U.S. President Donald Trump, left harmful content online, serving business interests at the expense of its human rights obligations.
The board was headed up by Meta's policy chief and former U.K. deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg.
After the whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed its presence, the board jumped into action, flagging concerns over Meta being partial to elite figures.
Clegg has until January 7 to decide whether to allow Trump back onto the platform.
After a long investigation, the board demanded Meta more closely audit its cross-check list and be more transparent about its review procedures.
The report is a landmark investigation into moderation issues at Meta, an independent body of 20 journalists, academics, and politicians. Meta has begun to revamp the system.
There are estimated to be 5.8 million users on the list by 2020. There were 666,000 as of October 2021, according to Meta.
The system meant that content posted by celebrities like Trump and Elizabeth Warren would remain on platforms pending human review.
It would take five days on average for this human review to take place, with the content left on the platform during this time, and in one case up to seven months, according to the report.
The board accused Meta of giving insufficient responses to the investigation, sometimes taking months to respond.
The board referenced how Brazilian footballer Neymar posted inappropriate imagery to his Facebook and Instagram accounts, which attracted over 50 million viewers before he was removed.
The report follows previous public tensions between Meta and the board after the board brought in September 2021 allegations of withholding information on the system.
Price Action: META shares traded lower by 5.84% at $115.28 on the last check Tuesday.