- Facebook has declared that it will now debunk false notions regarding climate change, leaning more into the role of arbiter of truth that was once renounced by the company.
- The company said it decided to depend on experts from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the University of Cambridge to recognize and contradict climate change myths.
- Facebook has started these information hubs and banked on them as a crucial part of its ploy to fight the widespread problem of misinformation on its services although CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May said that he did not think “Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth.”
On Thursday, Facebook announced that it will now debunk common myths regarding climate change, further leaning into the “arbiter of truth” role that the company once renounced.
The social media giant said it is including a section to its climate change information hub that will feature facts with authentic information regarding misbeliefs and lies. This will include the fact that polar bears can become extinct one day due to global warming, as well as the fact that too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere destroys plant life.
The company plans to trust experts from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the University of Cambridge to pinpoint and debunk climate change myths.
Facebook has begun these information hubs and depended on them as a crucial part of its strategy to challenge the widespread problem of misinformation on its services. It’s a sharply delineated shift of stand from CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s statement last May, when he endorsed unrestrained speech from politicians on the platform and said he did not think “Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth.”
Past examples include a Covid-19 information hub that was started in March and a voting information center that was launched in August.
Facebook began its climate change information hub in September, shortly after the company took down a report with inaccurate claims that Oregon wildfires had been started by antifa members. That report had gone viral on the social network.
In its announcement Thursday, Facebook said it will start including information labels to posts regarding climate change that communicate with people about its climate change information hub.
Moreover, the company plans to expand this hub to users in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa and Taiwan. The feature is available in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.
Users in other countries will be directed by Facebook to the U.N. Environment Programme if they search for climate related terms on the service, the company said.