March 5, 2021

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Facebook to Label Climate Change Posts Like Covid, Vote Content

Facebook Inc. will begin labeling some user posts that mention climate
change in the same way it has annotated posts discussing elections and
Covid-19, a sign the social network is taking climate-related
misinformation more seriously.

The labels will direct users to Facebook's Climate Science Information
Center—an existing hub that includes related news articles, climate
change data and recommendations for Pages to follow. The new labels will be
added to some posts about climate change, regardless of their accuracy, a
strategy Facebook has used with other widely discussed topics as a way to
fight falsehoods.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has argued that the best way to
keep misinformation from spreading on its networks is not just to remove
misleading posts, but to offer people accurate information from
authoritative sources. The labels are rolling out first to users in the
U.K., though the plan is to bring them to more countries soon, according to
a Facebook blog post.

Facebook has been used to spread climate misinformation in much the same way
the service is used for sharing all kinds of misleading posts. False
statements about climate change reviewed by Facebook's fact-checkers are
flagged, but unlike Covid-19 misinformation, climate posts are not typically
removed. That's because Facebook doesn't consider most climate
misinformation to pose an imminent threat of harm, which is the bar for
removing false information from the service.  [...]