Fb will debunk myths about local weather change and slip additional into the function of "arbiter of reality"


A polar bear in Repulse Bay, Nunavut Territory, Canada.

Paul Souders | Getty Images

Facebook announced on Thursday that it would now debunk common myths about climate change and continue to rely on the role of "arbiter of truth" that the company had once waived.

The social media company announced that it is adding a section to its climate change information center containing facts with accurate information about misconceptions about climate change. This includes the fact that polar bear populations are declining due to global warming, as well as the fact that too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is damaging the plant life on earth.

The company plans to rely on experts from George Mason University, the Yale Climate Change Communication Program, and the University of Cambridge to identify and debunk myths about climate change.

Facebook introduced and relied on these information centers as an important part of its tactics to combat the widespread problem of misinformation from its services. It's a blatant turn on CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony last May when he defended the unreserved speech of politicians on the platform, saying he didn't think "Facebook or Internet platforms in general should referee the truth."

Earlier examples include a Covid-19 information center that was launched in March and an election information center that was launched in August.

Facebook unveiled its climate change information hub in September, shortly after the company released a report containing false claims that Antifa members had started wildfires in Oregon. This report had gone viral on the social network.

Facebook also announced on Thursday that it will now begin labeling posts about climate change with informational tags that will lead people to its climate change information center.

In addition, the company has announced that it will now expand this hub to users in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa and Taiwan. The feature was available in the US, UK, France, and Germany.

Users in other countries will be directed to the United States Environment Program by Facebook when they search for climate-related terms for the service, the company said.


Katherine Clark