Misinforming Latin America: narrative analysis of extreme weather in Brazil, Chile and Peru

A new report by Roots, Friends of the Earth, Purpose, and CAAD delves into the concerning prevalence of climate disinformation narratives during extreme weather events in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, Chile, and Peru. These narratives divert attention from climate-related causes and impede effective climate action.

Key Findings:

  1. Disparity in moderation resources: The report highlights a notable inadequacy in resources allocated to moderating Spanish disinformation, exacerbating the spread of false information during extreme weather events.
  2. Mis-/disinformation patterns: Examining fourteen extreme weather events in Latin America, the report focuses on three distinct case studies:
    • Brazil: False narratives attributing flooding to dam gate openings, diverting attention from necessary climate action.
    • Chile: Arson narratives obscuring climate-related causes of wildfires, gaining significant attention on social and traditional media.
    • Peru: Misinformation linking Cyclone Yaku to the HAARP system, distracting from true climate-related factors.

    Despite regional variations, these cases reveal remarkably similar characteristics, emphasising the need for a unified approach in combatting climate disinformation.

Impact on public conversations:

The unique characteristics of extreme weather events in Latin America render the regions highly susceptible to mis- and disinformation, diverting public attention from evidence-based discussions about climate change. The report underscores the urgency to comprehend how these events are exploited, hindering efforts to effectively address the climate crisis.

The time for big tech to step up is now:

Concluding the report is a resounding call to major tech platforms, including Twitter, Meta, and TikTok, urging them to cease their complacency and address climate disinformation across all languages. The report emphasises the pivotal role these platforms play in curtailing the spread of false narratives, urging for collective efforts to safeguard the integrity of climate-related discourse.

Access the full report:

For a thorough exploration of the report’s findings and insights, please visit here.