Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Climate activists display a burning Facebook logo in a melting block of ice

Activists display a 5,000-lb ice sculpture with an embedded Facebook logo in front of the U.S. Capitol on November 4, 2021. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Climate Coalition Pushes Social Media CEOs to End Planet-Killing Disinformation

"Platforms owe it to their users and the planet to stop amplifying the climate disinformation that undermines our ability to combat the climate crisis."

Jake Johnson

A coalition of more than a dozen environmental and tech organizations demanded Tuesday that Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other social media giants take immediate steps to combat the flood of climate disinformation on their platforms, warning the proliferation of such lies "undermines governments' ability to efficiently and effectively respond" to the global emergency.

In a letter to the CEOs of Facebook, TikTok, Google, Twitter, and Pinterest, 14 climate groups noted that the esteemed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has "named climate disinformation as a threat to the world's ability to effectively address" the planetary crisis, which is fueling deadly extreme weather events across the globe.

"Social media companies bear responsibility for their role in amplifying and perpetuating climate disinformation."

Arguing that "social media companies bear responsibility for their role in amplifying and perpetuating climate disinformation," the letter calls on social media executives to "fulfill obligations set forth in" the European Union's recently approved Digital Services Act, a law aimed at reining in Big Tech's power and requiring social media platforms to mitigate the spread of disinformation.

Signed by, Accountable Tech, Friends of the Earth, and other prominent environmental groups, the new letter urges social media CEOs to "commit to including climate disinformation as a separately-acknowledged category in its reporting and content moderation policies in and outside of the E.U."

"More specifically," the letter continues, "we urge platforms to commit to recognizing climate disinformation as a specific reason within the statement required under DSA Article 15(1), and include data on content moderation decisions related to climate disinformation as stated under Article 23."

The letter was sent a month ahead of the COP27 climate talks in Egypt, a summit sponsored by leading plastic polluter Coca-Cola.

The role that social media giants and advertising firms have played in the dissemination of climate falsehoods has received growing attention on an international stage in recent weeks as research shows Facebook and other platforms are badly failing to live up to even their own limited content policies.

"Platforms owe it to their users and the planet to stop amplifying the climate disinformation that undermines our ability to combat the climate crisis," the coalition wrote in its letter Tuesday.

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.

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·

Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·

Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo