A year ago, Facebook came, well, under fire for ignoring the wildfires raging through its home state of California. The problem was the social media giant threw its support around those working to battle climate change but didn’t commit to tackling the misinformation polluting its platform.
At the time, its first solution was to launch the Climate Science Information Center in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The centre is still up and running and is essentially a dashboard with information from scientific organisations about the climate, news stories about climate change and steps people can take to fight it.
As a company, it also committed to a net zero emission goals for its value chain. Its response to tackling climate misinformation, however, was to reiterate it has dozens of independent fact checkers.
This Climate Week, however, Facebook is doing a little bit more. But only a little bit. This year, it will be dropping some cash on the misinformation front, outsourcing the fix for toxic talk on its apps.
That cash is a $US1 million fund to tackle climate misinformation. The money will be spent via grants administered under its new Climate Misinformation Grant Program. The grants will be awarded by the International Fact Checking Network.
Facebook says the program is aiming to provide people with reliable information and reduce climate misinformation, with the cash to be handed out to proposals that promise to do just that.
Facebook’s Climate Science Center will also see new facts added to its Facts About Climate Change section, hoping to debunk common climate misinformation and myths.
The centre is now active in 16 countries and boasts more than 3.8 million followers and over 100,000 daily visitors.
“One key learning from the past year is that while providing authoritative information is an important first step, we can add additional features to better inform and engage our community on climate change,” a blog post reads.
Facebook is also adding more quizzes to the centre for people to test their knowledge. For real.
On a positive front, however, Facebook will also be working to promote the voice of those that actually know their stuff.
From Monday, creators and advocates who raise awareness of climate change across its apps will be highlighted. And it’s also recommitted to supporting the Say It With Science series that sees scientists and youth advocates present the latest climate science.