Facebook is unveiling a dedicated space on its social network to share accurate information about climate change, similar to hubs for COVID-19 and voting, as part of an effort to combat misinformation about the subject.
“Climate change is real. The science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day,” the company said.
The announcement comes just days after emergency responders in the Pacific Northwest had to fight misinformation on Facebook along with catastrophic wildfires and ahead of Climate Week, a conference run by the United Nations and New York City.
In addition to the information centre, Facebook said it will continue to reduce the distribution of posts containing false information on its News Feed feature and it will label those posts as false.
Facebook, however, did not say it would remove those posts. The company also did not say if it would remove or label posts within private Facebook groups that contain misinformation about climate change. The company also emphasised that it’s working to reduce the company’s climate change impact. It will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the end of the year, and be 100% supported by renewable energy.
Climate change misinformation, like much false and misleading information, has long been a problem on Facebook, but the issue has become more prominent in recent weeks given the vast number of wildfires in the western U.S.
The company began this past weekend to remove posts inaccurately claiming that wildfires were started by the anti-fascist activist group known as Antifa. The accusations were “forcing local fire and police agencies to divert resources from fighting the fires and protecting the public,” a Facebook spokesman tweeted. Facebook has a policy of removing misinformation that poses a direct and immediate threat to users’ offline safety.
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