Climate Power 2020, Accountable Tech Launch Ad Campaign Demand Facebook Close Its Climate Denial Loophole
Washington, D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020 and Accountable Tech announced a multi-platform advertising campaign to demand that Facebook stop enabling climate deniers spreading misinformation on its platform.
The groups launched new digital ads that target Facebook employees who work at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The digital ad will run on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and reads: “Your boss is an enemy of science. Facebook must ban climate lies.” The ad, launched just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began testifying at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust hearing, will also run on Capitol Hill.
A billboard advertisement near Menlo Park also went up today from Climate Power 2020 and Accountable Tech during the hearing, visible to drivers on the US 101 as they approach the Facebook headquarters. It will run for two weeks beginning today and reads, “HEY FACEBOOK. OUR PLANET DOESN’T LIKE YOUR CLIMATE POSTS. Ban Climate Lies.” The 101 is a major route connecting San Francisco to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.
“Facebook would like to believe otherwise but climate change poses an immediate threat to human health and safety. Facebook should follow its own policies to prevent climate science deniers from spreading lies and misinformation on its platform,” said Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power 2020. “Mark Zuckerberg has shown he’s immune to doing the right thing, but Facebook employees have the power to stand up for science and pressure him into acting.”
“Social media companies have far too much power and play by their own rules,” said Nicole Gill, Executive Director of Accountable Tech. “Climate science is long settled, yet Facebook allows climate deniers to override fact checks and spread patently false information. The ‘climate loophole’ needs to be closed. It’s time for Facebook to step up and take meaningful action to stop the spread of harmful disinformation.”
In June, E&E News, HEATED and Popular Information published reports that detail how Facebook – which has a partnership with an independent organization of climate scientists as part of its broader third-party fact-checking process – allows its staffers to overrule the scientists to make climate disinformation ineligible for fact-checking by deeming it ‘opinion.’ According to the reports, Facebook created the opinion loophole for climate change content at the request of the CO2 Coalition – an organization with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and a long record of promoting debunked claims about climate change.
On July 1, more than a dozen leading political and environmental activists—including John Podesta, Tom Steyer and Stacey Abrams—wrote to the Facebook Oversight Board demanding they take action to shut down a loophole. After the Board responded that they would not take action because they are not yet operational—and will not be operational until the Fall, the activists wrote back on July 7, calling on the Facebook Oversight Board to immediately convene and get to work to shut down the loophole.
On July 20, Accountable Tech, Climate Power 2020, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL, and other groups wrote to the Facebook Oversight Board members based in the United States, calling on them to take action or resign.