This report by Stop Funding Heat finds that climate misinformation is rampant on Facebook, despite the social media company’s claims to the contrary.
The report analysed 48,700 posts between January and August 2021 from pages identified as known climate misinformation producers. Researchers found up to 1.36 million daily views of climate misinformation on Facebook during the period, with only 3.6% of this content receiving fact-checking labels.
The estimated daily range of views was up to 13.6 times higher than the range of daily visits to Facebook’s Climate Science Center, an initiative launched in 2020 to provide access to factual climate information.
Furthermore, the report identified a total of 113 climate misinformation adverts, highlighting the ineffectiveness of its Third-Party Fact-Checking Program. The data also shows that interactions (comments, shares and reactions) on the worst climate misinformation posts increased more than three quarters over 2021.
Based on the results of the research, Stop Funding Heat calls on Facebook to implement the following actions:
- Adopt and publicise a definition of climate misinformation that follows the latest climate communication science
- Share its internal research on how climate misinformation spreads on its platform
- Confirm and properly enforce a total ban on climate misinformation in paid advertising on the platform
- Produce a transparent, public-facing plan to meaningfully reduce the spread of climate misinformation on the platform, including adding climate misinformation to community standards, a more transparent fact-checking process, debunking misinformation in real-time, and standards to de-platform deliberate repeat offenders.
This is Stop Funding Heat’s second report from 2021 covering Facebook’s problem with misinformation. May 2021’s ‘On The Back Burner’ exposed loopholes in Facebook’s misinformation policies and provided examples demonstrating the extent of the problem.
You can read the report in full here. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to connect to any of the authors of the report.