Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Pinterest

Over the past year, Pinterest has seen jumps in some planet-friendly searches, such as "recycled home decor" and "zero waste lifestyle." (Photo: alexsl/Getty Images)

Pinterest Applauded for Plan to Combat Climate Misinformation

One campaigner said the social media company "has demonstrated great leadership" and urged other platforms to follow suit.

Jessica Corbett

Amid fresh warnings from scientists about human-caused global heating, Pinterest was widely praised Wednesday for providing a model for tech giants by banning all climate misinformation across the social media platform.

"We encourage others to take note of Pinterest's efforts to reduce climate change disinformation."

Launched in 2010, Pinterest has become one of the world's most popular platforms. The online service enables users to share, save, and organize images, from home decor and lifestyle inspiration to recipes, creative projects, and travel destinations.

The company highlighted in a statement Wednesday that "our new policy makes Pinterest the only major digital platform to have clearly defined guidelines against false or misleading climate change information, including conspiracy theories, across content and ads."

Welcoming the move, Michael Khoo, climate disinformation co-chair at the advocacy group Friends of the Earth, declared that "climate disinformation on digital platforms is a serious threat to the public support needed to solve the climate crisis."

"Pinterest has demonstrated great leadership by creating a community standard that includes a definition of climate misinformation, and we will continue to press all platforms for transparency and reporting on their actions," he added. "We encourage others to take note of Pinterest's efforts to reduce climate change disinformation."

In a tweet, Khoo's group specifically called on Meta—the parent company of Facebook and Instagram—as well as TikTok, Twitter, and Google-owned YouTube to follow suit.

As part of Pinterest's newly updated community guidelines, "our climate misinformation policy removes content that may harm the public's well-being, safety, or trust," the company explained. That includes:

  • Content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus;
  • False or misleading content about climate change solutions that contradict well-established scientific consensus;
  • Content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, in order to erode trust in climate science and experts; and
  • Harmful false or misleading content about public safety emergencies including natural disasters and extreme weather events.

While "all ads on Pinterest always have to comply with our community guidelines," the statement noted, "we've updated our advertising guidelines to explicitly prohibit any ads containing conspiracy theories, misinformation, and disinformation related to climate change."

"Pinterest believes in cultivating a space that's trusted and truthful for those using our platform," said Sarah Bromma, the company's head of policy.

"This bold move is an expansion of our broader misinformation guidelines, which we first developed in 2017 to address public health misinformation, and have since updated to address new and emerging issues as they come to the forefront," Bromma continued. "The expanded climate misinformation policy is yet another step in Pinterest's journey to combat misinformation and create a safe space online."

Pinterest's statement also pointed out that over the past year, the platform has seen significant jumps in some planet-friendly searches, such as "recycled home decor," "recyling clothes ideas," "zero waste lifestyle," and "zero waste tips."

Pinterest crafted its new policies with help from experts—including the Conscious Advertising Network, whose co-chair Jake Dubbins said Wednesday that "it is unequivocal that climate misinformation combined with advertising tools delays meaningful climate action."

"The Conscious Advertising Network is delighted to partner with Pinterest who is taking a genuine leadership position by publishing this robust, well-considered, and comprehensive climate misinformation policy," Dubbins added. "We look forward to the continued collaboration and call on all other tech platforms to follow Pinterest's lead."

The policy change at Pinterest comes as technology companies face rising scrutiny for refusing to fully crack down on climate misinformation in the midst of a global emergency.

As Common Dreams reported in February, despite Facebook's move last year to attach "informational labels" to some climate posts, researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found the social media giant failed to flag content from the leading publishers of climate misinformation.

"By failing to do even the bare minimum to address the spread of climate denial information," CCDH executive director Imran Ahmed said at the time, "Meta is exacerbating the climate crisis."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Kremlin Says Russia Now Considers US, European Allies 'Hostile States'

"What they are doing is war," declared Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jake Johnson ·


Decarbonizing US Energy System Would Save 50,000 Lives and $600 Billion a Year: Study

The findings, the authors write, "offer a clear rationale for mitigating climate change on public health grounds."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Dark Money Is Dark Money': Sanders Calls on DNC to Ban Super PAC Cash in Primaries

"A super PAC is a super PAC, whether it is funded by Republican billionaires or Democratic billionaires," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson ·


Study Finds Many Existing Oil and Gas Sites Must Be Shut Down to Avert Climate Disaster

"Our findings show that halting new extraction projects is a necessary step, but still not enough to stay within our rapidly dwindling carbon budget," said one researcher.

Jake Johnson ·


'Cancel It, Don't Means Test It!' Omar Says of Student Debt

Progressive lawmakers and other critics continue to warn the Biden administration against the "logistical nightmare" of limiting debt cancellation by income.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo