Facebook Punishes Groups For Questioning Human Impact on Climate Change
Facebook is now punishing groups on its platform that question the impact of human activity on climate change.
The Facebook group “God Emperor Trump: (Official)” received notification on Monday that members of their group had posted content that is rated false by the platform’s chosen fact checkers, something that Big League Politics revealed the platform will use to demolish the group’s frequency on the news feed, prevent potential new members from being shown the group, and otherwise reduce its engagement and growth.
The content Facebook claimed was inaccurate was a video featuring the famous businessman and public speaker Dan Pena, who says that the extent of man’s impact on climate change is overblown because the business world does not even acknowledge it as a fact.
According to Pena, if the world was set to be submerged due to impacts of human caused global warming in as soon as 12 years, there would be no investment in coastal areas like Florida, which would certainly sink, and that climate change is highly cyclical and it is naive to assume humans have such a large impact on the planet.
The article Facebook used to fact check the claim hardly demolishes Pena’s point, but rather says he may be inaccurate.
Factually Inaccurate: The speaker likely means to refer to a climate period known as the Eemian, but this was about 125,000 years ago, not 55,000 years ago. The slow-changing cycles of Earth’s orbit were in a different configuration then, leading to warmer temperatures.
Flawed Reasoning : The existence of past climate changes does not indicate humans cannot change climate today any more than the existence of natural fires in the past would indicate arson is impossible today.
At this point Facebook not only requires that volunteer moderators determine the veracity of news, but also that they become well read on the intricacies of climate science and use this knowledge to police opinions and content.
This campaign against so-called “false news” in groups has been happening for some time, and could be easily weaponized. If users were to gain access to partisan Facebook groups from the other side of the aisle, they could easily use this feature to post blatantly fake news in an effort to decrease the engagement and reach of groups.
Big League Politics reported in April:
After a user in the Facebook group “God Emperor Trump: Official” posted an article the website considers fake, admins of the group were given a notification that their entire group could be penalized if the behavior is repeated.
According to Facebook’s message, the platform will use its endless fight against “false news” as an excuse to “push all of that group’s content down in News Feed, which may mean fewer people visit the group.”
The platform “may also stop suggesting that people join the group.”
This latest move to prohibit users from questioning the controversial topic of climate change comes shortly after the big tech platform purged Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer from both Facebook and Instagram, going as far as to prohibit users from sharing links or videos featuring Jones under threat of a potential ban.