Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Environmental Groups in Facebook’s Crosshairs

Facebook are up to their nonsense again. This time, environmental groups are in their crosshairs. 

They had supposedly started an initiative to counter a wave of misinformation over climate science – and yet, they suspended the accounts of environmental organizations on their social media platform. 

Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook over the weekend. Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended for an alleged “intellectual property rights violation”. 

That’s bullshit because videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in the US are still allowed on Facebook – but not those fighting to defend the environment. 

Thankfully, many of the accounts have now been restored – although a number are still blocked, with no fuller explanation coming from Facebook. The said company steadfastly maintained they are committed to tackling climate misinformation – but climate organizations have questioned whether Facebook are doing enough to cut down on untruths about the climate crisis that are being spread across the site. 

In 2018, for example, a video that denied that human activity was driving the climate crisis was shared on Facebook and viewed 5 million times. 

Articles and videos about climate change can be deemed opinion, meaning under Facebook guidelines they can’t be blocked by its fact-checkers. This loophole meant that that this month the CO2 Coalition, a group that argues more carbon dioxide is good for the planet, managed to overturn a fact-check on an article that attacked the accuracy of climate models. A fact-check rated the piece as “false” but it was published by Facebook anyway when labelled as opinion. 

Their public statements differ from actions that they take. They should know better. After all, action speaks louder than words. Always.

The UK government have confirmed that plans for the return of fans to sporting events from October 01 have been put on “pause” – Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office declared on Tuesday – in a big blow to football clubs. 

Football was gearing up for supporters to return to games at a reduced capacity from next month, with Liverpool hopeful of welcoming around 12,500 for the Premier League clash with Sheffield United on October 24. 

But an increase in cases of Covid-19 across the country has compelled authorities to a rethink of safety measures.

I’m not too disappointed because I’m not in the UK – but having said that, I do miss the electrifying atmosphere when Kopites bellow and roar in a stadium bursting at the seams. Liverpool playing to an almost empty venue is never going to be the same really.

No comments: