Facebook ‘too late’ curbing climate falsities

Facebook’s new effort to combat climate change misinformation falls short of addressing the root of the false claims spreading on the social media platform, an advocacy group said.

Facebook announced a plan Thursday including a $1 million investment in a new climate grant program to support organizations working to combat climate misinformation, but the group Friends of the Earth said the effort misses the point and will fail to expel the vast majority of disinformation.

Not a fan: “Facebook’s actions are far too little, far too late,” Michael Khoo, Friends of the Earth co-chair of the Climate Disinformation Coalition, said in a statement. “Facebook knows the super-spreaders of climate disinformation and should put an end to their repetitive lies. We cannot solve social media disinformation by playing an endless game of whack-a-mole with known liars.”

Friends of the Earth released a report with an analysis of disinformation following the February 2021 storm-related blackouts in Texas. The analysis looked at disinformation spreading debunked myths that renewable energy was to blame for outages.

The data: The analysis found less than 1 percent of high-performing Facebook posts spreading the debunked claims about the blackout contained a fact-checking label. The 10 highest-performing posts blaming renewable energy, garnering a total 673,300 total interactions, lacked a fact-check label, according to the analysis.