Green groups are calling on Facebook, Google, Twitter to treat inaccurate posts about climate change as hate speech.
Several environmental groups are calling on Facebook, Google, Twitter Inc. and other social media companies to treat inaccurate posts about climate change as harmful content akin to hate speech and lies about Covid-19.
In a letter released Tuesday, the advocacy groups asked the companies, as well as ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Pinterest Inc., to disclose more about how they handle “climate disinformation.” Specifically, the letter calls on the companies to report this content category under Europe’s new Digital Services Act, which tracks how platforms moderate illegal and harmful media, imposing fines if they don’t meet certain criteria.
“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 wrote. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and 12 other environmental and public advocacy groups signed the letter.
Starting in 2020, many social platforms began to change how they moderate climate change after years of a hands-off approach. Facebook and Google’s YouTube promised to reduce the spread of posts denying climate science. Pinterest said it would ban the content altogether. Critics argued that the platforms have struggled to enforce these rules. Facebook’s hub for accurate climate information was barely visited.