Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Prominent environmentalists and Democratic activists say Facebook is "allowing the spread of climate misinformation to flourish, unchecked" and urging the company's external oversight board to intervene.
Driving the news: A new open letter with signatories including Stacey Abrams, John Podesta and Tom Steyer takes aim at distribution of content from a group called the CO2 Coalition without warning labels or restrictions.
- The coalition argues more carbon emissions are a "net benefit" and rejects consensus science on warming.
The state of play: The letter to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, co-chair of the board, centers on recent reports about how Facebook addressed a CO2 Coalition post.
- "Instead of heeding the advice of independent scientists and approved fact-checkers from [the nonpartisan fact-checking group] Climate Feedback, Facebook sided with fossil fuel lobbyists by allowing the CO2 Coalition to take advantage of a giant loophole for 'opinion' content," it states.
- "The loophole has allowed climate denial to fester by labeling it 'opinion,' and thus, avoiding the platform’s fact-checking processes," the letter adds.
What’s next: It’s hard to say! Scott Rosenberg, Axios managing editor for tech, notes that the oversight board hasn’t formally begun operating yet and will have discretion about which complaints to take on.