Report links most climate change denial on Facebook to 10 publications

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Most climate change misinformation comes from solely a handful of sources. That’s in accordance to a brand new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). The group discovered that ten publishers are liable for 69 % of all interactions with climate change denial content material on Facebook. Included within the group, which the CCDH titled “The Toxic Ten,” are Breitbart, Russia Today and Media Research Center, which has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

The findings broadly mirror that of one other report the CCDH printed earlier within the year, which discovered that as a lot as 73 % of vaccine misinformation on Facebook might be linked to solely 12 people dubbed the “disinformation dozen.” That examine has been broadly cited by US lawmakers who’ve referred to as on social media platforms to do extra to handle the “urgent threat” misinformation represents to public well being.

As it did with the sooner disinformation dozen report, Meta, Facebook’s dad or mum company, disputed the methodology the CCDH used to compile its newest examine. “The 700,000 interactions this report says were on climate denial represent 0.3 percent of the over 200 million interactions on English public climate change content from Pages and public groups over the same time period,” a spokesperson for the company mentioned. It additionally pointed to the just lately introduced enlargement of options just like the Climate Change Information Center as proof of its dedication to tackling misinformation on the subject.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Imran Ahmed, the chief government of the CCDH, mentioned the group checked out roughly 7,000 articles printed between October 2020 and October 2021. He referred to as the pattern “robust” and mentioned there was sufficient knowledge “to derive representative finds of trends.”

Additionally, the report examined the monetary incentives concerned in publishing climate change denial content material. The CCDH estimates eight of the businesses included within the Toxic Ten made $5.3 million in Google advert income over the past six months, with $1.7 million going to the search big. “We recently announced a new policy that explicitly prohibits publishers and YouTube Creators from monetizing content that promotes climate change denial. This policy will go into effect on November 8 and our enforcement will be as targeted as removing ads from individual pages with violating content,” a spokesperson for Google informed Engadget.

“When you put it all together, you’ve got these two industries, Big Oil and Big Tech, and they are the two industries that pose the greatest threat to the survival of our species,” Ahmed informed The Post.

The timing of The Toxic Ten report comes as delegates from world wide meet on the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Scotland in what’s been described as “the world’s last best chance” to curb greenhouse gasoline emissions. Without dramatic reductions, the planet is at present on observe for a “catastrophic” 2.7 diploma Celsius rise in world temperatures. With each further diploma of warming past the 1.5-degree goal put ahead by the Paris Agreement, there’s a better threat of the planet passing particular tipping factors that would lead to much more dramatic modifications to the climate.

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