Facebook decides not to close climate fact-checking loophole in response to Democrat complaints

The response was obtained exclusively by The Verge

Facebook responded to the Democratic Senators’ criticism of their climate fact-checking policy by stating it will continue to exempt “clear opinion content” from fact-checking.

In a letter shared exclusively with The Verge, Facebook reasoned that while it does not consider all climate change content “opinion,” opinion articles about climate change don’t receive fact-checking, in line with a policy adopted by the platform in 2016.

According to The Verge, Senators asked Facebook “to close the loopholes that let climate disinformation spread on their platforms,” to which Facebook responded by saying they should be trusted to make and follow their own rules and procedures. 

Facebook has been on the ball with blocking coronavirus misinformation, which they believe can cause direct harm to users if they follow the wrong advice. But, a recent survey by the think tank, Data for Progress, found 64 per cent of participants think Facebook should be held accountable for its lack of misinformation warnings on false news about the climate. 

It’s no surprise, either, since the World Health Organization claimed climate change is expected to lead to an additional 250,000 deaths every year between 2030 and 2050.

Though Facebook seems insistent on maintaining the loophole which allows false news about the climate to persist in the form of opinion, the Senators are less than impressed. 

“The future of our planet is at stake, and there should be no company too big, too powerful, and too opaque to be held accountable for its role in the climate crisis,” Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tom Carper, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Brian Schatz said in a statement. “Facebook is no exception”.

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