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Social Media and Climate Change Misinformation: Combating Denial

We are facing the age of unverified data distribution leading to misinfromation. How do we combat misinformation about climate change?


Misinformation and false news have led to people denying the existence and cause of climate change. At the face of adversary, denial is the last thing one needs. The link between social media and the denial of climate change has been discovered by a research organization Advance Democracy.

Despite company’s pledges to prevent hoaxes, and falsehoods, conspiracy theories have led to the dramatic surge in the number of posts denying climate change last year, as reported by USA TODAY.

Advance Democracy found that twitter, X, shows more evidence of climate change denial and that it has tripled for the second year in a row. It has discovered the increase in posts dismissing climate change as an exaggeration or hoax on Facebook.

In a experiment of analyzing ten Facebook post with most interaction related to climate change, 8 have either denied or promoted conspiracy theories. None of them are fact checked or even linked to Facebook’s Climate Science Information Center.

Additionally, it is unfortunate to note that TikTok also failed to prevent the falsehoods. Although the app adopted a policy prohibiting climate misinformation last year, videos that create false climate change news are still viewed millions of times on the app.

Advance Democracy says that in its review only YouTube has improved with 8 out of 9 climate change denial phrases are now accompanied by scientific information on climate change on the platform.

“When it comes to misinformation about climate change, YouTube’s systems work to raise up content from high-quality sources in search results and recommendations,” YouTube said in a statement to USA TODAY, adding that it strives to “connect viewers to additional context from third parties like the United Nations.”

Michael Mann, a climate scientist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania has the following to say: “Social media is a primary means by which young people − those most likely to see the worst consequences of climate change − get their information today,” he said. “This trend suggests that bad actors have made a concerted effort to weaponize social media in a way that is especially targeted toward young people.”

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