Facebook adds new section for the 'debunking of dangerous falsehoods' on climate change

This new initiative will be led by climate experts from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the University of Cambridge.

Updated: February 19, 2021 - 9:41am

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Facebook is set to add a new section that will focus on debunking climate change myths, in what it calls an effort to stop the spread of disinformation.

"The spread of damaging falsehoods endangers the level of international cooperation required to prevent catastrophic global warming," Sander van der Linden, of the University of Cambridge said in Facebook’s announcement Thursday. "Facebook is in a unique position to counter the circulation of online misinformation, and the new climate 'mythbusting' section is an important step toward debunking dangerous falsehoods."

The new initiative will be led by climate experts from George Mason University, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the University of Cambridge, according to The Hill newspaper.

Facebook says the effort will connect users with "science-based news, approachable information and actionable resources from the world’s leading climate change organizations" through the use of its Climate Science Information Center.

The new section will be available in France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., and is being expanded to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa and Taiwan. Facebook noted that users in countries without access will be directed to the United Nations Environment Programme upon searching for climate-related topics.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that Facebook and other platforms should refrain from being "arbiters of truth". However, the social media platform has looked to make additions to the site that combat the spread of disinformation. Currently, there is a coronavirus hub that consists of information regarding the illness and vaccines, along with a voting information center that launched back in August ahead of the presidential election.

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