Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced that he would order his Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to investigate Facebook for election interference and failing to comply with the state’s election laws. He shared this directive in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report that revealed how Big Tech companies played a role in a number of state and local races by exempting users from its own rules.
“While most people are subject to arbitrary censorship at the whims of so-called fact-checkers, Facebook grants select users the freedom to disregard the platform’s own community standards without the threat of enforcement action,” DeSantis said.
He emphasized how the thought of Facebook manipulating elections is an affront to the basic principles of our republic and that we have the right to choose our representatives “whether or not Silicon Valley approves.”
It was revealed that well-known celebrities, politicians, and journalists have been steered into a separate system on Facebook called “XCheck,” which exempts users from some or all of its rules. It is something known is “whitelisted” and users are not subject to any enforcement action or pending content reviews regarding the things they post. There are currently over 5.8 million users on the Xcheck list who are deemed newsworthy, influential, popular, or PR risky. This includes most government officials.
One of the prime examples of the XCheck’s use was when Brazilian footballer Neymar was allowed to post nude pictures of a woman who had accused him of rape.
Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board said they would be reviewing some parts of the system that allow users to be exempt from their rules. They said they would report back to Facebook officials with what they hear and make other recommendations for “greater transparency” and a system that is fair and accurate.
Some critics have asked why Big Tech companies are not being prosecuted as illegal contributions to election outcomes when they are more important than almost any other influence on elections. But if it came to that, then every Democratic politician would be in prison. It was demonstrated throughout the 2020 presidential election that those who were affiliated with the Democratic party, in general, were deemed “whitelist worthy” while opponents in the Republican Party were shadow-banned and blacklisted every other day.
Many social media platforms, such as Twitter, revealed their political bias when suppressing a Hunter Biden scandal story around the time of the election, even going so far as suspending the New York Post Twitter account for posting the original piece. It has been nearly impossible to conduct investigations into the matter as federal agencies have embraced a ‘woke’ justice system. The Biden Administration even admits that they work personally with Facebook to ban anti-vaccination content and what they consider to be “misinformation.”
The lines continue to get more and more blurred with the role that Big Tech plays in our everyday lives, not to mention our elections. Facebook has created a privileged class of speakers with their XCheck program and empowered them to manipulate our elections however they want.
Facebook spokesperson Drew Pusateri said the company has cross-checked its systems to address any problems and accurately enforce the policies on content that “requires more understanding.” He said they’ve invested in building a dedicated team to improve the systems and how they operate.
Gov. DeSantis knows that if the people don’t take back the elections from government officials, Big Tech, and the elite, then there will be no reason to vote at all.