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Facebook Creates Fact-Checking Exemption for Climate Deniers

Judd Legum, writing at Popular Information:

Facebook is “aiding and abetting the spread of climate misinformation,” said Robert Brulle, an environmental sociologist at Drexel University. “They have become the vehicle for climate misinformation, and thus should be held partially responsible for a lack of action on climate change.”

Brulle was reacting to Facebook’s recent decision, made at the request of climate science deniers, to create a giant loophole in its fact-checking program. Last year, Facebook partnered with an organization, Science Feedback, that would bring in teams of Ph.D. climate scientists to evaluate the accuracy of viral content. It was an important expansion of the company’s third-party fact-checking program.

But now Facebook has reportedly decided to allow its staffers to overrule the climate scientists and make any climate disinformation ineligible for fact-checking by deeming it “opinion.”

Facebook can’t have it both ways. They can be a haven for right-wing disinformation or they can be a part of civil society. Zuckerberg seemingly thinks they can have it both ways, but it can’t hold.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020