Climate Change Denial Facebook Pages - Time to Ban Them!

Currently, there is a tremendous amount of fake news on Facebook, and there is a significant amount of climate change denial Facebook Pages.

In my opinion, this type of disinformation should not be tolerated on Facebook, especially since they are denying the scientific consensus and are causing a tremendous amount of harm.

Believe it or not, the World Health Organization reported that over 100 million people would die because of climate change pollution in less than two decades. 

Ultimately, I see climate change as a human rights issue and I think governments and companies should do more to suppress climate change denial, in the same way governments and companies have suppressed misinformation from the tobacco industry on cigarettes. 

Fake News

Free Speech and the Harm Principle

You are allowed free speech as long as you do not harm anyone. This concept is sometimes referred to as the "harm principle."

In fact, there are many different examples of cases in which there are limitations to free speech.

For instance,

  • libel
  • slander
  • hate speech
  • trade secrets
  • copyright violation
  • non-disclosure agreements
  • and right to privacy.

I think lying about climate change will harm the public and should not be allowed on this social media platform. Also, I believe that spreading misinformation about coronavirus poses a danger to public health. 

To my understanding, Facebook already bans misinformation related to voting and to public health issues such as the coronavirus pandemic. Why should they not ban climate change denial?

We need to take action! Please sign this petition. I will add more to my reasoning below (further arguments).

Fake News

Further Arguments

In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, when someone lies about the effectiveness of wearing masks or getting the vaccine, it will lead to people dying in large numbers. Of course, this should not be tolerated, and Facebook as well as many other websites, have banned false information about the coronavirus pandemic. 

For example, YouTube has banned misinformation about coronavirus on their platform. You can read their guidelines here.

For example, YouTube will ban videos that claim that:

  • COVID-19 does not exist
  • hydroxychloroquine will save people from coronavirus
  • COVID-19 is caused by radiation from 5G networks
  • masks cause oxygen levels to drop to dangerous levels
  • wearing a mask causes you to get coronavirus
  • children cannot or do not contract COVID-19

They have a long list of examples in their COVID-19 medical misinformation policy.

In general, they will ban content that contradicts health guidelines from the World Health Organization on:

  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Transmission
  • Social distancing and self-isolation guidelines
  • The existence of COVID-19

I agree with this policy. I think that people's freedom to stay alive is more important than the freedom of people to spread dangerous misinformation.

The reality is that millions of lives have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic, and it is crucial to protect the lives of millions. Sadly, there has been a tremendous amount of misinformation around the world, particularly in the United States. Many American lives could have been saved if more organizations banned misinformation early on and if politicians did more to encourage people to wear masks or get vaccinated.

Misinformation has serious consequences.

Regarding misinformation, Google has policies on 4 categories which include:

  • Misinformation policies
  • Elections misinformation policies
  • COVID-19 medical misinformation policy
  • Vaccine misinformation policy

Google has written:

"Certain types of misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm are not allowed on YouTube. This includes certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like promoting harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content, or content interfering with democratic processes."

In my opinion, climate change denial Facebook pages will cause egregious harm to millions of people in the long-term and hence should not be tolerated.

COVID-19 Virus
COVID-19 Vaccines

Importance of Climate Change

Now, why would disinformation about climate change be important?

The truth is that climate change will potentially cause many more deaths than the coronavirus pandemic. We have to take into account that there will be millions of refugees, and there will be an increase in the frequency or intensity of many extreme weather events.

Climate change will worsen:

There will be many other effects of climate change as well. For instance, it will worsen food and water shortages and may cause wars over natural resources.

In the worst-case scenario, billions of lives will be affected, and many millions could die. Hence, we must ban climate change misinformation, similar to how we are banning coronavirus misinformation.

The main reason, in my opinion, for which the world has not done enough yet to combat climate change is because of the incredible amount of climate change denial which took place. If we inform the public and ban misinformation, our human civilization will move faster to tackle the issue of climate change.

Climate Change Landscape

Over 6000 Signatures to ban Climate Change Denial Facebook Pages

My petition has gotten over 6000 signatures since I first created it. I would appreciate it if you could sign and share it. The goal is to get Facebook to ban climate change denial like they ban coronavirus misinformation. If Facebook takes action, it will have a very positive ripple effect across the Internet.

Petition Cartoon

Further Reading and Sources

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