Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

The Thumbs Up Like logo is displayed on a sign at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The Thumbs Up Like logo is displayed on a sign at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
Pictures: Jeff Chew (AP)

In the middle of the second-warmest October in human history, a question arose on an internal Facebook message board. “Policy for misinformation – deny climate change?”

The question gave rise to a discussion, in which an employee argued that the Facebook platform allowed climate denial posts to run without a hitch because science once moved around a certain type of ulcer. The post, Found here, A part Document installment Published by Francis Hagens, Whistleblower Legal party Gizmodo and other outlets that have access to 7 (You can see What we have turned up so far.) The names of “low-level” Facebook workers have been revised, so it is not clear who is particularly involved in the debate over the issue of climate change denial. But the chats shed light on how Facebook has dealt with climate denial and even within an organization. Net zero emissions by 2030, An unpleasant attitude about perpetuating denial still reigns in some corners.

Internal logs are from 2019, a year before Facebook opened Climate Science Information Center Page for business. In the initial post, an employee was asked what Facebook does to deal with misinformation:

I am writing to find out if we have a policy on climate change denial, especially human involvement in climate change. Does it fall under the misinformation of our information treatment and downgrading? I wonder because it’s science-based we think differently about how to deal with opinion-based truth verification.

The post links to a Facebook post that copy-pasted a climate denial article by radio host Hal Turner, who has been branded a “white hegemonic truth believer.” Southern Poverty Law Center. Employees speculate that this copy-and-paste method may be used to “get this way and that” traffic throttling on Facebook posts.

The answer to the question states that Facebook “does not remove misinformation except in very narrow cases where we have strong evidence that the content may cause impending harm to people offline” but the company downgrades the misleading content and Using third-party fact-checkers. Another response notes that “it’s interesting to copy-paste the text of a link to apply a URL – we haven’t seen it much before.” In response to Arthur’s question, a Facebook representative wrote in an email that the URL itself was “falsely rated by two of our truth-checking partners,” but that the rating was applied to the actual URL and not flagged in a copy-paste manner. Discussion

Screenshot of an internal October 2019 discussion on how Facebook handles climate denial content.

Screenshot of an internal October 2019 discussion on how Facebook handles climate denial content.
Screenshot: Gizmodo / Frances Hausen

Climate change is already harming people offline. A growing body of research attributed to extreme events shows how increasing greenhouse gas emissions are increasing the likelihood and intensity of heavy waves, heavy rainfall, fires and other environmental disasters. A survey published last year, for example, found Australian bushfires in 2019-20, the fires that spread just months after the October 2019 internal Facebook discussion, cost the country. স্বাস্থ্য 1.5 billion in healthcare costs. Another Research line The wildfires showed stormy weather, which killed at least 34 people and 3 billion animals, 30% more likely to be due to global warming.

Does Facebook have insights about climate misinformation strategies? You can email

It is already one of the countless examples of real-world losses due to the climate crisis. The political system has largely failed to catch up with this loss because misinformation has made the necessary actions almost unavailable. A Separate internal threads in 2019 Acknowledging this reality, one post noted, “If anyone intentionally uses Facebook search to sow the seeds of suspicion and slow down the public response to the climate crisis, they have been using our services to threaten the lives of billions of people for decades. Throwing in the face. . Are we ready for such an attack? ”

Why Facebook would allow denial to exist on its platform এবং and in some cases develop-is probably an ad dollar and cent issue. But as the October 2019 thread unfolds, some within the company also tend to teach the debate. A response to the initial post reads:

It seems problematic to consider scientific consensus as a definite fact in order to suppress content that does not agree with it.

Scientific consensus is sometimes reversed. It wasn’t too long ago that everyone I knew Stomach ulcers were caused by stress and excess stomach acid. The notion that this idea was caused by germs was discarded in 1954. If Facebook had existed at the time, we would have been under pressure to stop crackpots from spreading their debunked claims. … but today we are I know Stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria. … The Nobel Prize came after many years of backtracking on scientific consensus.

“My immediate response is that it is‘ skeptical as Galileo ’to claim that climate deniers have sometimes applied themselves in an attempt to position themselves as victims of authoritarian repression,” said Geoffrey Supran, Harvard research associate and director of climate accountability. Climate social science network communication, said in an email. He noted that “the views of climate scientists are based on decades of equivalent-reviewed evidence and reasoning. Not the views of climate deniers.”

In fact, the Hal Turner post that sparked the discussion misrepresents the predominance of NASA research and evidence that humans are heating the planet by burning fossil fuels. Naomi Orescase, a science historian at Harvard who has written an original book on climate denial and worked with Supran, says that Jurassic Park Author Michael Crichton actually made a similar argument “that there was a consensus among scientists about eugenics. So we should not believe what they say today about climate change. He wrote one Opinion piece 2005 refutes Crichton, Which became true in the light of today’s Facebook discussion. Just because “Group X scientists, decades ago, might be wrong about Y, doesn’t mean that [a] Different groups, today, addressing a different issue, may be wrong now, “he wrote in an email.

The Facebook Climate Science Center popped up in 2020 in response to some criticism of how the company is dealing with climate science on the site. The center provided and provided information to the public about climate change Recently updated with quiz And $ 1-million cash flow to increase fact-checking. But it does nothing to remove it Denial on the platform.

“We fight climate change misinformation by connecting people with reliable information from leading organizations through our Climate Science Center and working with a global network of independent fact checkers to review and rate content,” Facebook said in an email statement. “When they rate this content as false, we add a warning label and reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it. We also take action against pages, groups and accounts that repeatedly make false claims about climate science. “

Corrected, 10/26/21, 5:38 pm ET: This post has been updated to reflect that it was the second-warmest October on record, not the warmest. (That ugly title is a few hundred degrees from 2015.)

Updated, 10/26/21, 8:40 pm ET: This post has been updated with comments from Facebook.

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