Facebook Fails to Clamp Down on Climate Misinformation

Social media has made it significantly easier for people to communicate with one another, but this has brought about some rather negative consequences as well as positive ones. One of the most negative aspects about social media is how easy it makes it for misinformation to be spread. Plenty of bad actors turn to social media to spread fake news and the like because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making it spread like wildfire.

Since Facebook is the single biggest social media platform in the world in terms of monthly active users, it stands to reason that they should try to prevent misinformation from spreading all that much. In fact, Facebook stated last year that it would be looking to clearly label any content shared on the platform that contains any kind of climate misinformation, and this has resulted in a few stories being taken down here or there which is important since climate change is the biggest threat that the planet is currently facing.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that some of the biggest climate change deniers are still quite active on the platform, as per Center for Countering Digital Hate. This includes various kinds of American and Russian media, with far right blog Breitbart notoriously being able to post climate misinformation quite frequently. This is dangerous since climate change denial can make it a lot more difficult for policies to be put in place that can help the world become safer in the long run.

Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t seem to be detected stories that use buzzwords frequently associated with climate change denial. Some users experimented by trying to post climate change denial stories and their posts were not flagged with a redirected link to an information resource in the manner that Facebook said they would. This seems to indicate that Facebook is not taking its misinformation problem all that seriously with all things having been considered and taken into account, and several steps need to be taken before the massive platform can become a more reliable source of information.

Vector created by Redgreystock/Freepik

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