Nov 1, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exclusive: Twitter takes aim at climate misinformation during COP26

Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter on Monday said it will be making authoritative information about climate change more accessible to users during this year's United Nations COP26 climate summit.

Why it matters: It’s the latest tech giant to take aim at climate misinformation, expected to be more prevalent during the global conference, which brings together leaders from around the world to discuss the climate crisis.

  • Last month, Google and its subsidiary YouTube announced a new policy that prohibits climate deniers from being able to monetize their content.
  • In September, Facebook — introduced new measures intended to counter misinformation about climate change.

Details: Twitter on Monday will roll out a new program designed to “pre-bunk” climate misinformation, or get ahead of false narratives about climate by exposing people to more accurate information about the crisis on its platform.

  • The pre-bunks, which include authoritative information about topics like the science backing climate change and global warming from experts, will appear in users‘ “explore” tabs, ”search” portals, and Twitter trends lists.
  • The company says it’s working with a range of experts globally to provide context on topics that are going to be discussed during COP26. The company will also host relevant organizations via Twitter Spaces (live conversations).
  • The pre-bunks will be available globally, in Arabic, English, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Twitter also unveiled a dedicated #COP26 events page with breaking news updates from the conference and resources from environmental experts globally. The pages are localized and available to everyone on Twitter.

Be smart: Pre-bunking is meant to provide users with easy access to accurate information and context around a certain issue. As a part of this effort, Twitter will not be taking action on individual posts with climate misinformation, as it does with anti-vaccination misinformation.

By the numbers: Twitter says there have been more than 40 million Tweets about climate change and related topics so far this year.

Between the lines: In a statement, the company said it’s taking these actions because it anticipates that climate misinformation tends to spread more around the annual UN climate conference.

  • A spokesperson says the company plans to stop showing pre-bunks after COP26 but will continue to monitor conversations and “can resurface context as needed” around the topic in the future.

Go deeper: What to know about COP26 in Glasgow

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