Climate of Misinformation: Social Media Lagging on Climate Disinformation

Climate of Misinformation: Social Media Companies Lag on Policies to Address Climate Denial and Greenwashing

WASHINGTON – Today, members of the Climate Action Against Disinformation Coalition released a report that found serious deficiencies in how Twitter, YouTube, Meta, and other companies address climate misinformation. Social media platforms were assessed according to policy content, transparency, advertising, enforcement and privacy, and only one platform, Pinterest, received more than half of the available points. Twitter/X was the worst performer. 

The report will be released during New York City’s Climate Week, in partnership with the United Nations General Assembly, in which CAAD will host a panel on September 20th. The UN has repeatedly recognized disinformation as an obstacle to climate action, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres has publicly said that Big Tech’s current business model “monetizes anger and negativity are causing untold damage to societies.”

The scorecard comes directly after the E.U.’s Digital Services Act has come into force for 19 designated platforms and search engines, requiring them to address their societal risks. It also comes just after the latest E.U. Code of Practice released its critical assessments of the platforms’ lack of transparency.

“Big Tech is clearly failing to stop the extensive climate misinformation that threatens climate action,” said Erika Seiber, Climate Disinformation spokesperson at Friends of the Earth, “A toxic and fossil-fueled minority is drowning out the voices of science and reason and social media platforms are complicit. The scores in this report are unacceptable, especially in the case of Twitter/X, and should be a wake up call for platforms and regulators to finally take climate misinformation seriously.”

Top findings:

  • Pinterest received the most points, leading the industry on policies that mitigate the spread of climate misinformation – but there’s still work to be done.
  • YouTube, Meta, and TikTok have made commitments to address climate misinformation on their platforms, but policy enforcement is lacking.
  • Twitter/X received only one point—lacking clear policies that address climate misinformation, having no substantive public transparency mechanisms, and offering no evidence of effective policy enforcement.
  • There’s a lack of algorithmic reporting from all platforms, and 4 out of 5 platforms lack reporting on misinformation trends.
  • There is no available data that suggests platforms are effectively enforcing existing climate misinformation policies.
  • Most platforms lack policies that address greenwashing.


“The litany of climate disasters unfolding in the US and around the world underscores the urgency of taking action to phase out fossil fuels like oil and gas,” said Charlie Cray, Senior Strategist at Greenpeace, “Social media platforms have fostered a poisonous spread of disinformation and misinformation that has stalled the necessary action to prevent the climate crisis from becoming an irreversible catastrophe. As we approach COP28, a climate conference being led by the CEO of a major oil company, platforms need to step up and tackle climate misinformation head on before it’s too late.”

CONTACTS: Erika Seiber, [email protected]; Kathy Grenville, [email protected]

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