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Facebook is Profiting from Climate Misinformation
Facebook claims to care about climate change. However, two recent reports by Stop Funding Heat find that Facebook is profiting, both directly and indirectly, from climate denial and misinformation.
Facebook, we are asking you to end your friendship with climate misinformation. Show you care as much as you say by:
1. Adopting and publicising a definition of climate misinformation that follows the latest climate communication science,
2. Sharing internal research on how climate misinformation spreads on the platform,
3. Confirming and properly enforcing a total ban on climate misinformation in paid advertising on the platform,
4. Producing a public-facing plan to reduce the spread of climate misinformation on the platform, including community standards, a fact-checking process and standards to de-platform repeat offenders.
Agree? Sign the petition and take action now. Or read below for more information.
Facebook Talks The Talk, But Does Not Walk The Walk
Mark Zuckerberg is on record admitting that sensationalist content and misinformation on Facebook is good business. In 2021, the social media giant continues to be under fire from whistleblowers, the press, governments and advertisers on the spread of misinformation on the platform, opening up a wider debate on Facebook's impact on society. Facebook claims it is fighting a multitude of issues including hate speech, public health, elections and - lately - climate misinformation.
Stop Funding Heat's new report, released November 2021, brings fresh evidence to the table, finding that climate misinformation is rampant on Facebook, while the platform directly receives thousands of dollars to place climate misinformation on its advertising platform.
The new report found:
- An estimated range of 818,000 and 1.36 million daily views of climate misinformation on the platform, using a dataset of 195 Pages and Groups and 48,700 posts.
- Up to 13.6 times more views of misinformation than Facebook claims to send to its Climate Science Center. Only 3.6% of the misinformation identified was fact-checked.
- The number of reactions, comments and shares per post from Pages and Groups dedicated to climate misinformation increased 76.7% since the start of the year.
- 113 climate misinformation adverts on Facebook's Ad Library between January and October 2021. 78% of the estimated spend on those adverts came from 7 Pages that were already flagged one year ago in a previous report. Facebook is yet to act.
This is backed up by a 40-page report by Stop Funding Heat published May 2021, a synthesis study which, for the first time, pulled together all the available evidence on the extent of climate denial on the platform, finding that Facebook is talking the talk but not walking the walk.
The Solutions Are Simple, But Facebook is Dragging its Heels
We are asking Facebook to show us, not tell us how much they care about climate misinformation with the following actions.
1. Adopt and publicise a definition of climate misinformation that follows the latest climate communication science.
2. Share its internal research on how climate misinformation spreads on the platform.
3. Confirm and properly enforce a total ban on climate misinformation in paid advertising on the platform.
4. 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.