by Elizabeth Culliford
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Half of the top 10 climate change deniers on Facebook did not add tags to outreach posts, according to an analysis by the UK-based Center for Combating Digital Hate.
The research, released Wednesday, comes after news that lawyers for Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen filed a new complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this month, accusing the company of its efforts to tackle climate change and the spread of Covid-19. Accused of misleading investors about misinformation about
The company said last year that it would add informative notices about climate change to some posts to direct users to its Climate Science Information Center page.
The Center for Combating Digital Hate (CCDH) in November identified a list of 10 digital media outlets whose publications accounted for about 69% of total Facebook interactions with climate-denial content. The agency named the group “Toxic Ten”.
This week, the CCDH said that, in an analysis of 184 posts from publications containing denialistic content about the climate of these 10 vehicles, it found that 50.5% of them did not have informational warnings.
The CCDH said it reviewed posts published between May 2021 and January 2022, when META announced that the informative notices feature had begun in several countries, including the US.
“During the time period of this report, we did not fully implement our labeling program, which had the biggest impact on results,” said META spokesman Kevin McAllister. Meta said the initial phase of its program targeted posts seen by only a small subset of users.
However, between December 20 and January 20, five of the 12 posts analyzed by the CCDH did not contain the tag.
“META says it cares about climate change, but has failed to stop the spread of misinformation about climate change on its platform,” CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed said in a statement.
CCDH also wants META to disclose data on the effectiveness of its notices.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to stopping the spread of disinformation, but we are committed to creating new tools and policies to combat it,” META spokesman McAllister said in a statement.
(((Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford))