Report Shows Continued Climate Science Disinformation in Facebook Ads

October 15, 2020

According to a new investigation from the nonprofit InfluenceMap, climate science disinformation continues to exist in Facebook ads.

This research has found that Facebook has allowed lobbying groups with non-transparent funding sources to use the platform’s marketing tools to grow confusion about the science of climate change.

InfluenceMap’s analysis searched Facebook’s “ad library” to find paid posts from 95 advertisers known to have increased climate disinformation in the past. The group identified 51 climate disinformation ads in the United States that began running in the first six months of 2020. Those ads collected 8 million individual views.

This research features the flaws of Facebook’s existing fact-checking program, according to an article in Grist.

The new research also suggests that climate disinformation appears to be overlooked, with just one of the 51 misleading climate ads being removed by Facebook and the remaining 50 running for their scheduled lifetimes.

Data stored in Facebook’s ad library also revealed that the disinformation ads were targeted at men over 55 years old. The advertising slant was regional, as well, with those living in rural states disproportionately shown climate disinformation on their Facebook feeds.

In September, Facebook launched its “climate science information center” in an attempt to stop widely shared but misleading posts that reject the established science of the climate crisis.

Report Shows Continued Climate Science Disinformation in Facebook Ads