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.

EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·

Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·

Betrayal of Railway Workers Ignites Working-Class Fury Toward Biden and Democrats

"Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic," said one rail leader. "Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class 1 rail carriers every time."

Jessica Corbett ·

With GOP House Control Looming, Pascrell Calls for Swift Release of Trump Tax Records

"Donald Trump tried to hide his tax returns from our oversight but after 1,329 days we have finally obtained the documents," said the New Jersey Democrat. "We should review and release them."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo