Climate Misinformation ‘Scorecard’ Ranks Elon Musk’s X, Previously Twitter, Last.

Environmental organizations issued a report on Wednesday that rated social media platforms based on their reaction to climate change misinformation. Elon Musk’s X app was harshly criticized in the study.

X, formerly known as Twitter, received the lowest grade since it is unknown whether or not the app has restrictions against the dissemination of erroneous information about climate change, according to the score card’s inventor, Climate Action Against Disinformation. The group includes over fifty environmental organizations, advertising corporations, and others.

Some famous accounts on X promote the notion that climate change is a “hoax” or spread conspiracy theories about green energy programs, making it easy to obtain inaccurate information on the issue. Musk has wrongly asserted that surface-level phenomena have no influence on global warming.

According to the group, the stakes are high since climate change disinformation has impeded action, such as stronger limits on fossil fuels.

“A toxic and fossil-fueled minority is drowning out the voices of science and reason,” Friends of the Earth spokesperson Erika Seiber said in a statement. “Social media platforms are complicit.”

The alliance was formed in 2021 by environmental organisations concerned that the United Nations Climate Summit in Scotland will be damaged by fake news. Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund International, and Patagonia are just a handful of the coalition’s member groups.

The group opted to share the data during this week’s United Nations General Assembly session and Climate Week NYC, where leaders from civil society and other sectors converge to discuss climate change policy.

In the year preceding up to Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the firm announced that it will no longer accept advertisements that “contradict the scientific consensus on climate change.” However, it is unclear if the restriction is still in effect at this moment.

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According to the story, Elon Musk’s acquisition of X/Twitter has people questioning whose company policies are still in force.

X’s officials did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment. The authors of the research also claimed that they contacted X throughout the report writing process but did not obtain a response.

The scale of 1 to 21 was utilized, and X received a 1. According to the researchers, the app’s privacy policy is critical in the fight against climate misinformation since fossil fuel companies, like other advertisers, may use personal data to affect public opinion. You did terrible if you received a 0.

Pinterest received the most points (12) in this round. Researchers discovered that this platform was the only one that identified climate misinformation specifically in its community rules and released an annual report on the topic. (Other websites do not describe climate-related misinformation.)

Pinterest has received plaudits for its attempts to restrict the selling of climate denial and to protect the personal information of individuals who protest against fossil fuels.

Corporate leaders acknowledged their delight with their efforts on Tuesday.

“Pinterest has a long history of establishing guidelines that help to grow a welcoming community in cyberspace.” Pinterest noted in a statement that it is “constantly evaluating our guidelines and enforcement approaches” owing to the dynamic nature of the anti-disinformation battle.

TikTok came in second with 9 points, Meta came in eighth with 8, and YouTube came in sixth with 6 points. Despite the fact that LinkedIn and Wikipedia were not included in the scope of the analysis, the researchers stated that they visited other tech sites to share their experiences with users.

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For years, social media researchers have been warning about the rise of climate change denial, claiming that the inability of internet platforms to aggressively delete false material adds to concerns such as increasing sea levels. Extreme weather events, particularly in Spanish-speaking nations, can elicit a spike in climate-related conspiracy theories, which are sometimes entwined with other types of misinformation, such as those regarding Covid.

In various ways, the platforms have begun to crack down on climate deception.

When Facebook was still known as Meta, the corporation stated in 2021 that it will identify and redirect users away from content that promotes climate change denial. Despite this, researchers from outside Facebook reported that the labels were not always used by Facebook.

In the same year, YouTube said that it will prohibit climate change doubters from selling their material on the site; nevertheless, the New York Times reported that some skeptics were still doing so as of May of this year.

Following the release of the climate report card, YouTube issued the following statement: “Our climate change policy explicitly prohibits the monetization of content that denies the existence of climate change, as well as ads that promote these claims.” We do not remove advertising from videos that involve debate or arguments on climate change subjects, such as public policy or research, but we do remove commercials from videos that explicitly or indirectly dispute the scientific consensus on climate change. Our algorithms also do not like or surface anything that spreads climate change misinformation.

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YouTube has also said that its search and recommendation algorithms promote information from reliable sources.

TikTok did not respond immediately to the results. Meta did not respond immediately when we requested for comment.

The scorecard focused on the limits themselves and their extent, rather than how closely social networking services enforced them.

Bringing the average down: It said that none of the platforms offered researchers and academics with sufficient access to anonymised data on content and advertising.

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