Equilibrium & Sustainability

Breitbart, other publishers play outsized role in climate change denial posts on Facebook: researchers

Breitbart, the conservative news and opinion website, played an outsized role in the amount of content downplaying or denying climate change being circulated on Facebook, according to a new report. 

Breitbart was among ten publishers responsible for nearly 70 percent of interactions with climate change denial content on the social media platform, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing a new study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). 

The study, which dubbed the top spreaders of climate-change-denying information the “Toxic Ten,” found a massive number of articles and posts from organizations tied to foreign governments or with fossil fuel interests and partisan domestic agendas in the United States. 

One example of this content noted by the Post was an article from Breitbart in March suggesting the Green New Deal, a top proposal on progressives’ wish list in Congress, would trigger massive nationwide lockdowns if passed into law.

“Every major environmental figure [and] climate activist has praised the COVID lockdowns as essentially a model for what we should be doing with climate,” a portion of the article read, the Post reported.

Under fire from whistleblowers and public officials, Facebook has in recent months pledged to fight misinformation in a number of areas, from climate change to vaccine science to election integrity.

One such promise the company made was to add informational labels to posts about climate. The CCDH study found that only 8 percent of the posts they surveyed containing misinformation about climate change sported such a label, however, according to the Post.

In September, Facebook announced a $1 million investment in a new climate grant program which would support organizations working to combat climate misinformation. 

A Facebook spokesperson told the Post the CCDH study was “flawed,” adding that it accounted for 0.3 percent of the “over 200 million interactions on English public climate change content from Pages and public groups over the same time period.”

Breitbart did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Tags Breitbart News Center for Countering Digital Hate Climate change denial Facebook

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