Facebook launches a new information hub to fight climate change myths
As wildfires rage on in California, Oregon, Washington states, Americans are divided about the cause of the fire. Many on the left including the California state governor said the fire was a result of climate change. However, forest experts said the fire was caused due to the government’s poor and lack of proper forest management.
Some are saying that the fire was caused by local arsonists. Just two days ago, a 41-year old Oregon man was also charged with arson in connection to a raging wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes, one of the blazes gripping the West Coast with death and devastation. Michael Jarrod Bakkela, was later jailed on two charges of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangering for a fire.
But the debate is not over. About 8 in 10 Americans say that human activity is fueling climate change, and roughly half believe action is urgently needed within the next decade if humanity is to avert its worst effects. Nearly 4 in 10 now say climate change is a “crisis,” up from less than a quarter five years ago, according to a report from Washington Post
Regardless of which side you are on, climate change could have a devastating effect on the planet by 2050 and could pose an existential threat to the world without swift and dramatic action to curb global warming, according to a paper by the Melbourne-based Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration. To reverse the trend, big tech companies are now fighting back to stop climate change misinformation from spreading online. Leading the fight is Facebook and Google.
Yesterday, Facebook announced it will launch a new information hub to provide its users with “science-based information” about climate change. The social giant said a link to the new information hub will appear when people search for information related to climate change on Facebook, or when people see certain posts related to the subject.
The announcement of the climate change hub comes after Facebook was dealt with a deluge of misinformation across its services regarding the cause of the wildfires raging across the Western U.S. One article, which blamed the wildfires on Antifa arsonists, had been shared more than 63,000 times on Facebook, according to The Guardian.
In a blog post, Facebook said it will call the new feature is called the Climate Science Information Center, and it will provide Facebook users with facts, figures, and data from factual sources. These sources include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N. Environment Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the World Meteorological Organization, and the Met Office.
In a blog titled: “Stepping up the Fight Against Climate Change,” Facebook wrote:
Climate change is real. The science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day. As a global company that connects more than three billion people across our apps every month, we understand the responsibility Facebook has and we want to make a real difference. Every day we see our community confronting this challenge – from people making small but meaningful changes like recycling, turning off lights, using public transport or cycling, to those using our tools to organize for change in their communities or to raise more than $80 million for environmental causes.
Facebook’s global operations will achieve net-zero carbon emissions and be 100% supported by renewable energy this year. But getting our own house in order is only the start. That’s why today, ahead of Climate Week, we’re announcing a new Climate Science Information Center to connect people with science-based information, and an ambitious new net-zero emissions target for our company’s value chain.
Facebook continues to flex its muscles and use its monopoly to combat the spread of what the company perceived to be misinformation on its platforms: Facebook and Instagram. In 2020 alone, Facebook launched a COVID-19 hub in March, and just last month, Facebook rolled out a voter information center.