A new whistleblower reportedly claimed Facebook exempted right-wing outlet Breitbart from certain rules because it didn't want to 'start a fight with Steve Bannon'

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump, the former President. Getty
A new whistleblower revealed to The Washington Post that Facebook had "whitelisted" Breitbart in an effort to placate Republicans.

An exec said, "Do you want to start fighting with Steve Bannon?"

Facebook has been at the center of a political battle over its content and moderation policies.

According to The Washington Post, another whistleblower made claims against Facebook.

An anonymous ex-employe told the outlet that Facebook’s Public Policy team, now headed by Joel Kaplan, the company’s vice president of global policy, defended whitelisting Breitbart's right-wing news outlet, which was run at the time under former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon.

Whitelisting refers to the exclusion of certain high-profile, elite figures online from rules that apply for ordinary users. An employee challenged Facebook's "whitelisting” Brietbart. The whistleblower spoke out for The Post.

Kaplan replied, "Does Steve Bannon want to fight you?" According to The Post, the whistleblower.

According to the Post, the whistleblower also wrote an anonymous affidavit for the Securities Exchange Commission. However, their names are not disclosed. This move is similar in nature to Frances Haugen's earlier actions. She shared documents with Wall Street Journal and testified in front of a Congressional panel.

According to the Post, an affidavit claims that Facebook officials have repeatedly prioritized fighting misinformation and hate speech. Concern that Facebook's user growth might be affected was another reason.

Facebook spokesperson said that the company has never exempted publishers from its rules, and criticised the Washington Post's reporting.

They stated that this was beneath the Washington Post. The Washington Post has reported stories only after thorough reporting and corroborating sources for the past five years. "There has never been any whitelist exempting publishers, including Breitbart from Facebook's misinformation rules."

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The Journal reported that XCheck, a system internally known as XCheck, was acknowledged by the company last week. It allows celebrities and politicians to be exempted from certain rules. Facebook claims it is working to remove the system.

Many conservatives have condemned Facebook, and other platforms, for censoring their views and favoring liberal views. However right-wing content thrives online. The company is aware that it faces scrutiny from both the right and left.

In 2017, the company modified its algorithm, but discovered that it could cause right-wing publishers to lose their traffic. This could have upset Republicans in power during Trump's presidency. The publication reported that Facebook had reduced traffic to progressive news sites such as Mother Jones in order to offset the drop.

Business Insider has the original article.