Pinterest bans misleading posts and ads on climate change

Pinterest has banned climate misinformation on the platform, saying it will remove false or misleading climate change content and conspiracy theories.

The move makes it the first and only major digital platform to have clearly defined guidelines against climate misinformation. 

According to the new policy, content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus, will be removed.

The platform will also remove any content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, in order to erode trust in climate science and experts.

Harmful, false or misleading content about public safety emergencies including natural disasters and extreme weather events will also be banned.

Additionally, Pinterest has updated its advertising guidelines to explicitly prohibit any ads containing conspiracy theories, misinformation and disinformation related to climate change. 

The image sharing and social media app had previously banned health misinformation, weight loss ads and political ads.

‘This bold move is an expansion of our broader misinformation guidelines, which we first developed in 2017 to address public health misinformation, and have since updated to address new and emerging issues as they come to the forefront,’ said Sarah Bromma, Pinterest’s Head of Policy. 

‘The expanded climate misinformation policy is yet another step in Pinterest’s journey to combat misinformation and create a safe space online,’ she added.

As of 2021, Pinterest had 431 million monthly active users worldwide with searches for sustainability ideas on the rise.

Just this week, the UN Secretary General signalled a warning that the world was on a ‘fast track’ to climate disaster and more than 3°C of global heating.

The IPCC says that disinformation is one of a number of issues preventing governments and the public from addressing climate change.

Recent studies showed that Facebook was sending climate change sceptics down a disinformation rabbit hole.

 

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