Climate misinformation on Facebook abounds, on the rise: study

TO study Posted by the nonprofit “Stop Funding Heat” shows the magnitude of climate-based misinformation on the popular social media platform Facebook, which, according to the findings, continues to increase.
The researchers extrapolated data sets to find that climate misinformation content is viewed between 818,000 and 1.36 million times a day on the platform. The study also found that Facebook only verifies 3.6% of misinformation posted. Additionally, the abundance of weather-based “fake news” has led to an almost 77% increase in interactions (comments, actions, and reactions) on posts that contained misinformation about the weather.

The study also looked at 113 posts that were advertised on Facebook, and found that 78% of the funding came from just seven pages, all of which were flagged by Facebook last year for spreading weather-based misinformation. Facebook has yet to take punitive action against distributors of fake news, according to Stop Funding Heat.

Facebook has previously been accused of insufficiently policing content and hate speech distributed on its platform: CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to testify before the United States Congress in 2018 amid a surge in malicious content and growing questions about the role of the social media giant in the mania. .

FACEBOOK CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, 2019 (credit: ERIN SCOTT / REUTERS).

Zuckerberg’s platform has been infamously used to spread COVID-related misinformation, spread a variety of conspiracy theories, and even influence democratic elections abroad.

As the UN COP26 Climate Summit continues in Glasgow, the findings aim to urge governments to seriously consider the role of climate misinformation on social media to derail the battle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Stop Funding Heat is a spin-off of the successful “Stop Funding Hate” campaign, which was founded in 2016 to pressure companies to stop advertising with media outlets that use “fear and division to sell more newspapers.”

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