No menu items!

COP26: Twitter targets alternative information on climate during UN climate summit

COP26, COP26: Twitter targets alternative information on climate during UN climate summit

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, continues throughout the week, Twitter takes aim at so-called “misinformation” on climate.

Similar to Covid-19, misinformation is considered narratives that are inconsistent with mainstream narratives. On Monday, the social media platform said it would make ‘authoritative’ information about climate change more available to users as the talks continue.

On Tuesday afternoon, a map was posted on Twitter purporting to show what the U.S. will look like in 30 years if climate change is not addressed. The map was massively criticized as false.
On Tuesday afternoon, a map was posted on Twitter purporting to show what the U.S. will look like in 30 years if climate change is not addressed. The map was massively criticized as false. (Photo internet reproduction)

The move is in line with efforts by Google and its subsidiary, YouTube, which now places a ban on climate change skeptics to monetize their content. Google announced in October the ban on advertisements and funding for any media that contradicts the “scientific consensus” on climate change.

“Working closely with outside experts, we regularly review and update our ads and monetization policies to help ensure a brand-safe environment for our advertising partners and to better protect users from unreliable claims, such as fake medical cures or anti-vaccine advocacy,” Google wrote.

In September, Facebook introduced similar features designed to counter “misinformation” about climate change.

According to Axios, Twitter will roll out a new program designed to “pre-bunk” climate “misinformation” or beat “false” narratives to the chase about the issue by making more accurate information available to users on its platform.

Axios reports:

The pre-bunks, which include authoritative information about topics like the science backing climate change and global warming from experts, will appear in users’ “explore” tabs,” search” portals, and Twitter trends lists.

The company says it’s working with a range of experts globally to provide context on topics that will be discussed during COP26. The company will also host relevant organizations via Twitter Spaces (live conversations).

The pre-bunks will be available globally, in Arabic, English, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Twitter also unveiled a dedicated #COP26 events page with breaking news updates from the conference and resources from environmental experts globally. The pages are localized and available to everyone on Twitter.

Twitter says it does not intend to take action against individual posts with climate misinformation, unlike its steps against anti-vaccine misinformation.

In addition to its announcement, Twitter deleted more than 40 million tweets about climate change and related topics.

The company says it is taking action because climate misinformation spreads more around the annual climate conference. A spokesperson for Twitter told Axios that the platform will stop showing information about climate change after the event but will continue to monitor conversations around the topic.

Check out our other content