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Two studies done by disinformation experts have shown that climate change denial has spread unchecked via Facebook.

According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and Center for Countering Digital Hate, less than 10% were misinformation.

The majority were linked to only 10 publishers by the CCDH researchers.

Facebook stated that it was only a tiny percentage of content related to climate change.

The CCDH (Civil and Political Disinformation Group) is a non profit organization which fights hateful online speech and propaganda.

The study found that only 8 percent of the misleading postings describing climate change in “hysteria”, alarmism, a scam or any other similar terms were misinformation.

Facebook promised to report climate denial content by the beginning of this year.

The CCDH reviewed a selection of past posts that attracted approximately 700,000. Newswhip, a social media analytics tool that tracks key phrases such as “climate change”, “global warming”, and “fraud”, was used by researchers to find strings including “hoax”, fraud”, “cult”, and “scam”, and “lie”.

Every post was carefully reviewed by the researchers in order to verify that it conformed with their criteria for climate denial.

Many articles were shared and falsely claimed that climate change had not been confirmed or debunked with science. Sixteen percent of these could be traced to only 10 super-polluter publishers, dubbed “toxic ten”, according to the campaign group.

Climate change can be understood from millions of measurements collected in many parts of the planet. Multiple independent scientists came up with the same conclusion – an increase in temperature that coincides with the industrial age.

Unsubstantiated beliefs that people will face climate lockdowns were also promoted in many of the articles. However, scientists argue that it is extremely unlikely because there are no proofs the Covid lockdowns have led to significant improvements in climate.

According to the CCDH, these posts are extreme forms of climate denial. These posts don’t reveal the extent of climate misinformation, but indicate that climate conspiracies are spreading on Facebook without being labeled or removed.

Stop funding heat campaign, in collaboration with Institute for Strategic Dialogue, (ISD) said that it found much more misinformation, which “undermines or affects climate change and human influence on it, and the urgency for immediate action”.

The Thursday research found that only 3.6% of climate misinformation posts included fact-checking labels.

The group also identified 113 ads on Facebook with messages like “climate change is a hoax” between January and October 2021 with an estimated spend of between $58,000-$75,000 (about £42,000- 55,000).

Facebook appears to be having a problem with this.

ISD (the Counter Extremism Think Tank) discovered that the majority of top-shared posts about renewable energy (18 of 25), either doubted or opposed climate change during the German elections of 2021. Similar trends were observed in conversations about fossil fuels. Most of the most shared Facebook posts (19 of 25) were against climate change.

Twitter on the other side, however, showed a reverse trend with the majority of posts on topics promoting climate action and scientific evidence.

Although most climate deniers identified by CCDH are based in the US majority, top-viewers included people from Brazil and India as well as Poland, Haiti, Mexico (and even Thailand), France, Germany, France, Germany, Thailand, Mexico, Thailand, Russia, France, Germany, Brazil, India, Poland, Haiti, Mexico, Thailand and Thailand.

There were also climate denial posts that ISD analysed from Australia, Russia and South Africa.

The spokesperson for Facebook stated that the 700,000.00 interactions made with posts by the CCDH were a fraction of the 200,000,000 interactions on Facebook with content related to climate change.

According to the spokesperson, “We will continue to fight climate misinformation by decreasing distribution of anything false or misleading rated by one of the fact-checking partnerships,”

Source: BBC.com

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