Underperforming & Unprepared

Climate Action Against Disinformation's report highlights how platforms have responded to the EU legislation for online safety so far.

This new report from the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) identified substantial gaps in Big Tech’s efforts to address climate disinformation on its platforms. Employing an 18-point assessment system and informed by the three latest Strengthened Code of Practice Reports and the initial round of Digital Service Act (DSA) Transparency Reports released earlier this year, CAAD critically assessed current policies to understand how platforms have responded to EU legislation so far.

Despite leading CAAD’s evaluation, Facebook and TikTok scored merely 4.5 out of 18 while X (previously known as Twitter) was the lowest scorer with just 0.5 points. Other big platforms, including Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn, scored poorly, further highlighting the systemic failure from platforms to acknowledge and take the issue of climate disinformation seriously.

This isn’t just a climate issue; it’s a profound crisis threatening public health, safety, and the very foundations of democracy. The time for decisive action from policymakers, regulators, and platforms is not just urgent—it’s overdue.” said the report’s author and CAAD Researcher, Diyora Shadijanova.

“Detailed reports on the proliferation of climate misinformation on Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) have been in circulation for several years now.” said Sean Buchan, chief CAAD researcher of the report. ”This analysis shows that, despite groundbreaking legislation, they are dragging their heels and continuing to be as opaque as possible on this crucial issue. Legislators need to enforce VLOPs to do better in order to protect EU citizens from a worsening climate crisis, fuelled by misinformation.”

Commenting on the report, Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said: “Social media companies like to grade their own homework and praise themselves for being green, but close examination of their actual track records reveals a startling hypocrisy. This analysis shows these companies prefer to shield liars and conspiracy theorists – and even provide them with the tools to monetize their deception – than live up to their promises to the public and advertisers to tackle disinformation that threatens the future of our planet.”

Key findings from the report show:

  • Most platforms do not categorise climate misinformation adequately in their advertising or content moderation policies.
  • There is a significant lack of transparency and visible action on users and brands repeatedly spreading climate misinformation.
  • No platforms have specific policies to restrict advertising from the fossil fuel sector or to prevent greenwashing.