Facebook limits fact-checking abilities
By: Charles Xu
Recently, Facebook has limited the ability to fact check posts with misinformation about climate. Facebook is a large platform, making it easy to spread misinformation. In the past few weeks alone, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to lies and misleading theories about climate change.
These constraints occurred because groups that reject climate change have been using Facebook as a platform to post false information about climate change. The reason Facebook is allowing people to promote inaccurate claims is because they are labeled as opinions.
The Heartland Institute, which has received funding from many fossil fuel companies, is an example of a group who spreads misinformation about climate change. Furthermore, they have been taking advantage of Facebook's system, dumping $20,000 to premore false claims about climate change.
For example, Scientific American states: “If you believe that sea level rise is a massive problem, you’ve bought into the corporate media’s alarmist narrative.” The group linked to a video making a series of false climate claims that are in opposition to the world’s major science agencies. Sea-level rise has accelerated in the last century and could rise by three feet or more in some regions within the next 80 years, scientists say.
Facebook has also placed restrictions on one of our nation’s most prominent climate scientists, Katherin Hayho after proclaiming her videos about climate change were “political”.
“What I share on Facebook is explicitly for the purpose of people feeling comfortable sharing it with their family, information on positive hopeful solutions, information on unexpected messengers from faith groups, the military, conservative spokespeople,” Hayhoe said. “Facebook is a place where people are connected across tribal lines in a way they aren’t connected from other platforms.”
The restrictions started in 2018, when Hayho tried to promote a video explaining the benefits of clean energy. Just weeks later, Facebook prevented her from promoting a video explaining climate science. The company said she had to be a “registered political organization”.
“These are the facts,” she said. “These videos have been peer-reviewed, and I still can’t boost them on Facebook.”