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Fri Sep 17, 2021, 07:41 AM

New Facebook Limits On Climate Disinformation Blahblah Highlighting Young Actitiists Blahblahblah

Facebook has announced new efforts to combat climate crisis misinformation on its platform, including by expanding its climate science center to provide more reliable information, investing in organizations that fight misinformation, and launching a video series to highlight young climate advocates on Facebook and Instagram. But critics say the new push, announced on Thursday, falls short and will allow vast amounts of climate misinformation to slip through the cracks.

Facebook has long been criticized for allowing misinformation about the climate crisis to proliferate on its platform. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, admitted in a 2021 April congressional hearing that climate misinformation is “a big issue”. In the past, the company has said such misinformation accounts for “a very low percentage of total misinformation on the service” but declined to share figures. Climate change and misinformation experts have said lies on the platform can spread quickly. The climate denial watchdog groupInfluenceMap in October 2020 found dozens of climate denial ads had been viewed more than 8m times after slipping through the social network’s filters.


One recent study conducted by Friends of the Earth, an environmental organization, found about 99% of climate misinformation about the February 2021 power outages in Texas went unchecked. The study found misleading reports that wind turbines were at fault in the outage had run rampant on the social media platform. It also showed how such theories make their way from the fringes of Facebook to the mainstream, finding that though the windmill claim was debunked on local and major news outlets, the falsehoods became talking points for prominent politicians within four days.

Facebook has rejected the study’s findings, calling its characterization “misleading”. A spokesman said Facebook had flagged dozens of inaccurate posts at that time and limited their distribution in newsfeeds. “Many of the examples in the report cited as not having labels are simply positions that the organization disagrees with,” the spokesman said.



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