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Twitter bans climate change propaganda ads

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Twitter bans ads that promote climate change denial in an effort to limit the reach of groups seeking to downplay the scale of the environmental crisis.

Under the new policy, ads that contradict the “scientific consensus” on climate change will be banned along with other types of banned ads such as campaigns containing violence, profanity or personal attacks. Twitter will rely on reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a unit of the United Nations, to inform its decisions on ads that violate its rules, according to the company.

“We believe that climate denial should not be monetized on Twitter, and misleading ads should not distract from important conversations about the climate crisis,” the company said in a blog post. Publish. “We recognize that misleading information about climate change can undermine efforts to protect the planet.”

Twitter’s New Strategy to Combat Climate Lies: Give Users Accurate Information First

Twitter’s announcement on Friday – coinciding with Earth Day – is part of a wider trend by social media companies responding to criticism from activists that they are doing too little to prevent disinformation campaigns on climate change. to spread rapidly over their massive networks over their sprawling networks. In recent years, tech companies have introduced new labels and clearinghouses to improve accurate environmental information while taking steps to limit the spread of lies.

It also coincides with Elon Musk’s $43 billion hostile takeover bid for Twitter, which he launched last week amid weeks of talk about the importance of free speech. Speaking at a TED talk last week, Musk called the company the town’s public square.

“I think it would be tempting to get it wrong on the, when in doubt, let the floor, let it exist. But if it’s a gray area, I’d say the tweet exists,” he said. .

Google calls itself green. But he continues to make money from climate change denial.

This free-speech stance may contradict Twitter’s desire to moderate content more, including in the area of ​​climate change.

Last year, Twitter announced that it would begin directing users to online hubs containing “credible and authoritative information” on climate change that would appear in users’ “Explore” tabs, their Twitter search portals and relevant trending lists .

Google also announced a decision to ban ads that contradict scientists’ understanding of the existence and causes of climate change. Facebook also launched a Climate Science Center to give users a place to find accurate information about climate change.

Yet research shows that climate change denial groups have successfully evaded social media companies’ content moderation systems to spread lies about the environment, as there is no evidence of the climate change’s adverse effects. climatic. A 2021 report by liberal-leaning advocacy group Avaaz found that between April 6, 2021 and November 15, 2021, the top five climate change disinformants managed to rack up more than 60 million views on posts containing lies. about the climate – most of which have not been labeled by Facebook as fake.

Breitbart has outsized influence on climate change denial on Facebook, report says