Ahead of COP27, Groups Demand Social Media Companies Address Climate Disinformation
WASHINGTON – Today, over a dozen environmental and tech accountability organizations sent a letter to Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest, calling on them to strengthen their content moderation policies on climate disinformation.
“The spread of climate disinformation undermines governments’ ability to efficiently and effectively respond,” states the letter. “Social media companies bear responsibility for their role in amplifying and perpetuating climate disinformation but transparency that would quantify the exact extent has been lacking from all platforms.”
The groups called on social media companies to commit to counting climate disinformation as a part of their upcoming obligations to the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA). Passed in May 2022, the legislation is a step forward in regulating tech companies and ensuring they’re held accountable for the spread of disinformation on their platforms.
The dangers of disinformation have become acknowledged globally. In a speech about climate change, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres recently said that “social media platforms based on a business model that monetizes outrage, anger and negativity are causing untold damage to communities and societies.”
The letter comes a month before COP27, a global climate change conference that’s become increasingly vulnerable to the spread of climate disinformation. A recent report from the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD) found that climate disinformation has evolved and that social media company responses to disinformation have been vastly outperformed by disinformation on their own platforms.
“Platforms owe it to their users and the planet to stop amplifying the climate disinformation that undermines our ability to combat the climate crisis,” the letter concludes.
COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT: Erika Seiber, [email protected], 865-255-7912