Facebook Is Adding More Content To Its Climate Science Center, But Will It Be Enough To Counter Anti-Climate Change Rhetoric?

Facebook has recently announced that it will be expanding upon its Climate Science Center, to spread out more information regarding the matter onto the platform. Climate activists say this may not prove to be enough.

Facebook’s stance on the climate change debate is hardly a mystery to anyone. For years, the company has actively pooled resources into making itself an eco-friendlier company. Only recently, the social network announced that it had become a water positive company, putting out more drinkable water into the world than it consumed. The company also states that its offices are now completely run on renewable energy, and produce net zero emissions. Therefore, its presence in the climate debate should a relieving sight, yes? Well, certain environmentalists seem to disagree, and have pointed out their reasoning for doing so.

The London based think-tank, InfluenceMap revealed in August that the company sported advertisements by fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil. 25 such companies contributed a total of USD $9.5 million to Facebook’s bank balance, placing more than 2,500 ads in the process. Suddenly, the social network doesn’t seem so climate friendly, does it? Many people over the internet argue that Facebook’s dealings with other companies don’t reflect the company’s own stance on the issue. This debate is not entirely meritless, considering the work that Facebook has done to make itself eco-friendly. However, the end result is still Facebook promoting companies that absolutely need no promotion whatsoever. Accepting such adverts means that the platform’s devaluing its own efforts towards a greener planet.

Now, let’s talk about the Climate Science Center. This was a hotline of sorts that Facebook set up, where users could go in order to further educate themselves about climate change and its negative effects. In the recent announcement referred to at the start of this article, the company stated that it will add more content to the space. Examples of new content included quizzes, factoids, and instructional videos on the matter. However, environmentalists argue that this does absolutely nothing to combat a major problem that Facebook has: misinformation.

Giving users an out-of-the-way, voluntary option by which they can educate themselves does absolutely nothing to combat all of the rampant anti-climate change rhetoric that plagues Facebook. Facebook’s measures at cracking down on such propagating pages or individuals are argued to be feeble at best, and ineffective at worst. A recent example of such misinformation on the platform can be found in all of the debate surrounding the widespread Texas blackout that occurred last February. Many posts helped sell the narrative that it was caused by frozen wind turbines, when the actual reason had much to do with frozen natural gas infrastructure.

With a platform as large as Facebook, misinformation is always bound to pop up. However, it’s time that the social network took a more aggressive approach, and actively own its narrative of being an eco-friendly company.

Read next: Facebook Adds More Business Oriented Tools To The Platform
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