Facebook plans to fight climate change myths with new information hub

15 Sep, 2020 23:12
source: Singularity Financial

Singularity Financial Hong Kong September 15, 2020 – Facebook plans to launch a new information hub to provide its users with “science-based information” about climate change, the company announced Monday night.

Facebook has been long targeted by critics for allowing misinformation on global warming and other environmental developments to populate users’ social-media feeds unchecked.

Facebook also announced the company’s global operations are on track to achieve zero net carbon emissions and run on 100% renewable energy this year, and set a goal for net zero emissions in its value chain—including Facebook suppliers and employee travel—by 2030, one day after Google announced it will run on carbon-free energy by 2030.

The announcement comes as wildfires across the West Coast force attention on the effects of climate change—but the company did not announce any further efforts to tackle climate misinformation on its platform, including by removing posts or addressing a loophole for opinion content that denies climate change.

“Climate change is real. The science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day,” the company said in a release announcing the hub’s rollout Tuesday after months of increased questioning of the climate-change denial posts it allows on the site under the cover of allowing editorials.

Now when users search for information related to climate change on Facebook or when certain posts related to the subject pop up, so, too, will a link to the Climate Science Information Center. On it, users will find data and commentary from sources including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. Environment Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the World Meteorological Organization and the Met Office, among others.

The new feature is called the Climate Science Information Center, and it will provide Facebook users with facts, figures and data from factual sources, the company said in a blog post. These sources include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, U.N. Environment Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, World Meteorological Organization and the Met Office.

In addition to the information center, Facebook said it will continue to reduce the distribution of posts containing false information on its News Feed feature and it will label those posts as false. Facebook, however, did not say it would remove those posts. The company also did not say if it would remove or label posts within private Facebook groups that contain misinformation about climate change.

Facebook’s Climate Science Information Center will go out to users in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany at launch, and it will appear in more markets “soon,” the company said.