climate change

Facebook finally accepts it needs to deal with climate denial and misinformation

By Anders Lorenzen

Facebook, tech giant and world’s largest social media platform, has for a long time inadvertently provided a platform for climate denialist views, with the company itself largely remaining silent on the issue.

But with just over a month to go to the US election, the company is hoping a new initiative may start to change this.

This month Facebook announced that they’re stepping up their efforts to become a net-zero carbon company this year, they also acknowledged they need to tidy up their own house. To do that they have in a few selected countries launched what they call a Climate Science Information Center widget on their interface in a few select countries with the aim of becoming a portal through which users are connected with factual and up-to-date climate information. 

Promoting factual news about climate change

Facebook says that it is a similar initiative to their COVID-19 information centre which was created to counter misinformation about the pandemic. In this case, the Climate Science Information Center is a dedicated space on Facebook which collects factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations as well as providing actionable steps people can take in their everyday lives to combat climate change. It will feature facts, figures and data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their global network of climate science partners, including the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), The Met Office and others. The portal will also curate news articles from relevant sources to highlight climate science news. 

Not the end of ‘fake news’

It remains to be seen whether the initiative will silence Facebook’s critics. As with COVID-19, the portal does not block false news and still contains content like many conspiracy theories about both COVID-19 and climate change, however, Facebook is adamant they will not take those down as they see them as the expression of as freedom of speech. What is now different is that factual correct information is now being promoted by Facebook. The company says that the Center will initially launch in France, Germany, the UK and the US  and will roll out to other countries soon. If you live in any of those countries you can access it here.

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