Facebook launches Climate myths buster initiative
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to combating climate change. Facebook is expanding and improving our Climate Science Information Center and introducing new ways for people to discover it, says the popular social media platform.
It says: The Climate Science Information Center connects people on Facebook with science-based news, approachable information, and actionable resources from the world’s leading climate change organizations. The center includes detailed deep dives that go beyond the basic facts, as well as ways to get involved. It also has information relevant to where you live. The center is already available in France, Germany, the UK, and the US, from today our center will also be available in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan.
Along with expanding the center, we’re improving it. We added a section that features facts that debunk common climate myths — including too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere harms the earth’s plant life and polar bear populations are declining because of global warming. To debunk the myths with current and specific facts, we’ve brought in climate communication experts from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the University of Cambridge.
- “Developing rebuttals based on the best-practices from communication research is an important step towards countering online misinformation, and I look forward to exploring more solutions.” — Dr. John Cook, George Mason University
- “Misinformation about climate change long predates the internet but has been greatly amplified in our new digital world. This new myth-busting section of the Facebook Climate Science Information Center can help raise public climate change awareness and understanding worldwide.” — Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
- “The spread of damaging falsehoods endangers the level of international cooperation required to prevent catastrophic global warming. Facebook is in a unique position to counter the circulation of online misinformation, and the new climate ‘myth busting’ section is an important step toward debunking dangerous falsehoods.” — Dr. Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge
We already direct people to the Climate Science Information Center when they search for climate-related terms and will keep doing that where the center is available. In countries where it isn’t, we will soon direct people to the UN Environment Programme, a leading global environmental authority.
We’re also starting to add informational labels to some posts on climate in the UK that direct people to the center, and we plan to expand to more countries soon.
As Nancy Groves, of the UN Environmental Programme, puts it: “A healthy planet depends on everyone, everywhere and that starts with people having access to accurate and timely information. We look forward to continuing to work with Facebook on this new effort to dispel myths and to provide access to the latest science on the climate emergency.”
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