Stopping climate change disinformation on Facebook

To: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, and Facebook climate, disinformation, and policy teams

From: Climate Disinformation Coalition

Date: March 25, 2021

Re: Stopping climate change disinformation on Facebook

Climate change disinformation is spreading rapidly across Facebook’s social media platform, threatening the ability of citizens and policymakers to fight the climate crisis. To explain how Facebook will stop climate change disinformation in the future, we would like your answers to the following questions:

  1. Facebook recently announced the creation of a Climate Science Information Center to expose its users to accurate information about climate change. Since the creation of the center, have you documented a reduction of climate disinformation on Facebook? Will Facebook commit to a specific reduction target for climate disinformation?
  2. As recently as February, disinformation about wind turbines causing the power outages in Texas spread seemingly unchecked on Facebook. Will you commit to monitoring climate change disinformation and releasing regular and transparent reports to the public?
  3. Research has shown that paid Facebook advertising has been used by well-known organizations to spread climate change disinformation. Of 52 climate disinformation ads running on Facebook platforms in the US during the first half of 2020, only one was taken down by Facebook. That research has also recently noted cases where Facebook has failed to classify ads containing climate disinformation as political or issue ads during and after its recent political ad ban. Will Facebook commit to eliminating all climate change disinformation spread through Facebook advertising?
  4. Facebook recently announced sweeping changes to how it handles vaccine disinformation, taking a much more aggressive stance. Will Facebook adopt a policy for climate disinformation similar to what it created to eliminate COVID-19 disinformation, based on the framework of the imminent and inevitable harm of climate change?
  5. It is not clear what counts as a strike when it comes to climate disinformation. Will Facebook adopt a two-strike rule for repeat offenders of climate disinformation, removing the ability for high visibility for violations until peer-reviewed proof is given to support any further organic or ad content posts?
  6. The research company Zignal documented a 73% drop in election-related disinformation as a result of deplatforming Trump and some QAnon accounts. What percent reduction of election-related disinformation did Facebook document?

Sincerely,

350

Avaaz

Center for Biological Diversity

Defenders of Wildlife

Earthjustice

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Working Group

Friends of the Earth

Global Witness

Greenpeace

Sierra Club

Union of Concerned Scientists

Waterkeeper Alliance

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