Monday, December 4, 2023

X (Twitter) is the social network that most favors misinformation about climate change

X, the social network that until recently was called Twitter, is rated worse in an evaluation of misinformation related to climate change on social networks. Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD), a global coalition of more than 50 organizations, uses a 21-point scale. Twitter, owned by Elon Musk, It scored only 1 point, for its few policies aimed at reducing false or inaccurate information.

The coalition, in which Greenpeace participates, also analyzed Meta, Pinterest, YouTube and TikTok. And his verdict is not good: he assures that the main platforms have become a “complicit actor” in climate denialism. Because Twitter was the worst, but the rest are not successful.

Twitter’s poor rating has a lot to do with Elon Musk. The report notes that the company’s purchase “has created uncertainty about which policies remain in place and which do not.” CAAD explains that some measures that the social network had before Musk’s arrival benefited the fight against misinformation about climate change. For example, the prohibition of misleading advertisements that contradict the scientific consensus on the subject.

But “many policies are no longer being applied,” says the group of organizations, citing external sources. Thus, unlike most of the other four platforms, CAAD highlighted that Twitter does not have a specific policy against disinformation about climate change. It also has no clear process for reporting misleading or harmful content. She was the only one of the five not to receive a grade at this point.

The only point in favor that Twitter received was because the network has an easily accessible and readable privacy policy. Only Pinterest also met this condition.

Platforms that promote misinformation about climate change

The score of the others four platforms moved between 6 and 12 points. After Twitter, YouTube is next at the bottom of the ratings. The coalition highlighted that Google’s video portal, while it has an advertising policy that limits climate denialism, does not have a policy that addresses organic content generated by users.

YouTube, in fact, announced in 2021 that it would prevent climate deniers from making money from its platform. However, some deniers were still doing so this year, reported The New York Times in May.

Pinterest was the best rated: He obtained 12 points out of 21. It is the only platform that, for example, set out to define climate change disinformation in detail in its community guidelines. Also, the only one that publishes an annual report on trends in climate misinformation. Other platforms define misinformation generally, but not specifically about climate.

But, in general, almost everyone failed. Meta obtained 8 points and TikTok, 9. The coalition insists there is a lack of clear guidelines related to climate change misinformation. In addition, they demand updating privacy policies to show when private data is sold to advertisers linked to the fossil fuel industry.

The CAAD was formed in 2021. By then, environmental groups were concerned about misinformation surrounding that year’s UN climate summit in Scotland.

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