Facebook tests climate change myth-busting labels on posts in the UK

18 February 2021, 00:04

Facebook's new climate change myth busters
Facebook’s new climate change myth busters. Picture: PA

Social network launches ‘small test’ in the UK first before exploring use of information labels in other countries.

Facebook users in the UK will be first to see information labels on posts about climate change, the social network has announced.

The move is part of a wider effort by the tech giant to debunk climate myths and to promote more facts from leading environment specialists on Facebook’s existing knowledge hub.

Labels will direct people to the Climate Science Information Centre section of the platform, starting as a “small test” on posts in the UK before rolling out to other countries.

Facebook has enlisted the help of experts from the likes of the University of Cambridge, George Mason University, and the Yale Programme on Climate Change Communication.

“The spread of damaging falsehoods endangers the level of international cooperation required to prevent catastrophic global warming,” said Dr Sander van der Linden, from the University of Cambridge.

“Facebook is in a unique position to counter the circulation of online misinformation, and the new climate ‘mythbusting’ section is an important step toward debunking dangerous falsehoods.”

The firm launched the climate information centre in September last year, following a similar effort focused on the coronavirus.

As well as expanding the hub to more countries, a section to debunk common climate myths has been added, addressing claims such as temperatures rise and fall in a natural cycle and carbon dioxide “greens” the planet.

“A healthy planet depends on everyone, everywhere and that starts with people having access to accurate and timely information,” said Nancy Groves, from the UN Environmental Programme.

“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.”

By Press Association