Twitter Is Banning Climate Denial Ads On Its Platform
On Earth Day 2022, the social media platform laid out plans to tackle climate change misinformation
image Markus Spiske
words Niellah Arboine
Protection, action, and an appreciation for the planet should go far beyond Earth Day, but nevertheless, we can’t deny positive change can be made on global days of solidarity, that help us to galvanise and use the day to think about investing in our planet.
Now more than ever it’s getting increasingly harder to ignore the urgent need for meaningful climate action, and one company that utilised Earth Day to address climate change was Twitter. The social media platform has said it will ban advertisements that deny climate change in the hopes to stop the spread of misinformation.
The report came just days before multi-billionaire Elon Musk's takeover deal with Twitter. The founder of Tesla and the world’s richest man recently had a spat with Microsoft founder Bill Gates over climate change philanthropy.
In a statement outlining their new policies released on Friday 22 April, Twitter said: “We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis.”
It continues: “We recognize that misleading information about climate change can undermine efforts to protect the planet. In the coming months, we’ll have more to share on our work to add reliable, authoritative context to the climate conversations happening on Twitter.”
In 2021 Twitter signed the Science-Based Targets pledge to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. “By 2030, we’re set to have significantly reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, paving the way for our net-zero journey.” the blog says.
“We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter"
Climate denial and spotting misinformation online is becoming an increasing issue. According to YouGov, the US is the second country behind Indonesia to think that climate change is not real or something humans are responsible for. And a study by The Conversation showed that out of more than 1,700 adults surveyed in the UK, “almost half the sample were unable to correctly identify 50% of fake climate change news headlines, and almost half (44%) of all respondents were unaware of how often they encountered misinformation online.”
Twitter aren’t alone in this, in 2021 Google stated that they will also be tackling ads that deny climate change and demonetise YouTube videos claiming climate change is a hoax. And earlier in the month, Pinterest also banned climate misinformation on their platform.
The new changes by Twitter don’t go as far as addressing whether this ban will include users who spread climate denial on the platform too.