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Twitter bans ‘misleading’ climate change ads

December 5, 2021, Chiang Mai, Thailand : Smartphones with applications Twitter on screen.

(CNN) — Twitter is banning misleading advertisements that go against the scientific consensus of climate change, the company announced on Friday, which was Earth Day.

“We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Those denying the effects of climate change have targeted sites such as Twitter and Facebook, enabling them to reach hundreds and thousands of those platforms’ users with false claims.

The announced change did not indicate whether Twitter would ban or delete the accounts of users who post climate change misinformation.

Twitter’s blog post cited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose recent report called for “immediate and deep emissions reductions” to combat the impacts of global warming.

The tech giant said it is working toward adding more “reliable, authoritative context” to conversations about the climate on its platform.

Twitter’s move follows action taken by other tech companies. Earlier this month, Pinterest announced it will prohibit users from sharing climate misinformation on its site, banning the content outright. It will also remove posts that deny climate change.

And last year, Google, announced it was banning ads on content from climate change deniers on its platform, as well as prohibiting advertisements that deny climate change.

Separately, hours after Twitter’s policy update, European policymakers reached agreement on sweeping tech regulations that included stricter rules on how platforms regulate misinformation and illegal content on social media and other platforms.

Big Tech has been facing increased pressure to combat the spread of climate misinformation on their platforms.

An open letter signed by more than 200 scientists, activists and organizations last November called for the CEOs of social media companies including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Reddit to establish climate misinformation policies similar to the ones they put in place for Covid-19.

Last November, Twitter rolled out efforts to preemptively debunk, or “pre-bunk,” disinformation about such topics as climate change by directing users to online hubs with credible information on its platform. Twitter also joined the EU climate pact earlier in February, committing to increasing efforts on promoting reliable climate information.