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New Report Slams Social Media Giants Facebook, TikTok And Twitter For Failing To Show The Real Face Of Climate Change

Climate change has been at the center of discussion for a while now and with Earth Day recently passing, it makes sense why more and more people are highlighting the issue.

While the matter dates back to years ago, the only difference now stems from the fact that things are more digital and that makes it easier to create awareness.

Before, there was a heavy reliance on advertisements on the radio, television, or the classic newspaper. But today, it’s all about social media and its growing presence.

In case you were not already aware, more and more people prefer to get their news online because it’s cost-effective, quick, and convenient. As you can see, we’re not mentioning reliability and there’s a big reason why.

A new report by researchers has shed light on some striking revelations about the world of social media and the lies being portrayed about the ongoing climate change crisis.

Big names included TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter, while the report did call out Pinterest in its good books.

The report by a series of non-profit environmental groups such as Greenpeace USAFriends of the Earth and Avaaz mentioned how there’s a thin line between fact and fiction in matters like these and while so many of these platforms are working hard to combat trust issues and the spread of misinformation, clearly more needs to be done.

Recently, we saw Facebook coming out in the limelight and speaking in detail about its efforts on the matter. But the new report says that it’s time the company takes up the blame relating to how their efforts aren’t good enough.

The environmental groups took out the time to rank the big social media firms from the best performance to the worst in terms of their efforts to tackle the challenge. And this is what the stats revealed:
  • Pinterest was at the top of the list in terms of how hard it worked to promote climate change
  • YouTube came second, followed by Facebook and then TikTok
  • Twitter performed the worst and was blasted for failing to take the matter seriously, despite its expanding user base
The researchers who took part in the study revealed how the rankings were based on the transparency of results displayed and what the organization was doing to combat the matter via their respective platforms.

Yes, some did a lot better than their counterparts but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any shortcomings in all the companies.

This included failure to take down misinformation on a timely basis and a vague outline of what measures and policies were being implemented.

At the end of it all, this leaves so many critics thinking about whether or not these firms actually care to take out the time to address the matter. After all, it’s a huge responsibility on their shoulders to provide credible context.

One senior advisor belonging to Avaaz, Rebecca Lenn, says that it’s almost as if the companies are choosing to leave their users in the darkness of it all and that’s not alright.

The report also delineated that without any transparency about climate disinformation, it makes it so much harder to tackle the crisis correctly. For instance, if you’re not going to tell the public about the real prevalence rate of climate change, how can readers understand the severity of the situation.

With Twitter ranking at the bottom of the list, it only made sense that a prompt response was given by the company’s spokesperson. They claim that the platform does understand the severity of the matter, adding how it believes more needs to be done for greater credibility of climate-related facts.

Similarly, they also shed light on how the app does not allow any advertisers on its platform that it believes enhance misinformation on the climate crisis. This was also highlighted by the firm on Friday through a recent blog post where the matter was again acknowledged.

TikTok, on the other hand, also came forward to speak on the issue. They claim that the company works with dedicated fact-checkers to limit misinformation on serious matters like these.

Pinterest says it combines human interaction with machine learning to get the best and most authentic facts across to audiences.

Meanwhile, YouTube and Facebook both claim to follow their fact-checking systems to deal with the spread of climate misinformation.

It was interesting to see how none of the five leading social media companies mentioned spoke about false news on the climate matter in their own reports. Again, that gives rise to so many questions on how seriously they plan on tackling the matter.

It’s quite clear that many lies are getting overlooked and this could be a potential wakeup call for the public that reading isn’t always believing.


Read next: Google Replaces Homepage Logo With Images Showing Harsh Reality Of Climate Change

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