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Facebook Hires Koch-Funded Climate Deniers for 'Fact-Checking'
By Andy Rowell
It may not come as a surprise that leading climate denier Donald Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims since he became president, according to fact-checkers at the Washington Post.
As the Post reports, Trump's "tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger."
Much of this tsunami of untruths will get reposted on Facebook as fact. Those hoping that Facebook will accurately check Trump's statements and clean up the torrent of fake news on its platform will have to think again, especially if you are concerned about climate change.
In what can only be described as verging on the bizarre, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given the contract to fight fake news to an organization that pushes fake news on climate change.
The CheckYourFact website brags that: "Our mission is a non-partisan one. We're loyal to neither people nor parties — only the truth. And while the fact-checking industry continues to grow, there are still countless assertions that go unchecked. We exist to fill in the gaps."
In fact, the opposite seems to be true. As Think Progress outlines:
The Daily Caller, which has published misinformation about climate science for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is backed by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation.
Think Progress includes a link back to 2015, when a peer-reviewed paper from scientists at Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute was published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The Daily Caller tried to twist the research to argue that "global warming is nothing new."
It is hardly surprising that leading climate scientists and academics are outspoken about the Facebook fact-check tie up.
One of the world's leading climatologists, professor Michael Mann, whose own work has been distorted by The Daily Caller, told Think Progress: "It is appalling that Facebook has teamed up with a Koch-funded organization that promotes climate change denial. Facebook must disassociate itself from this organization."
Mann also tweeted:
Environmental sociologist, professor Robert Brulle, who is an authority on the climate denial network, asked, "Why they are partnering with an organization that is part of the right wing echo chamber?" He added that: "Facebook should cancel this contract."
But as both websites point out this is not the first time Facebook has joined forces with a climate denial website: In the fall of 2017, Facebook named the right-wing, partisan Weekly Standard as a fact-checking partner.
Last year, Tessa Lyons, a product manager for Facebook wrote about the company's actions on Fake News:
False news is a money maker for spammers and a weapon of state actors and agitators around the world … Misinformation is bad for our community and bad for our business. It's why we're investing significant time and resources to fight it.
Fighting fake news with more fake news is a sure recipe for disaster. Especially during a climate emergency.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
- Former 'climate change denier' explains his shift » Yale Climate ... ›
- How to change the minds of climate deniers | US news | The Guardian ›
- PolitiFact statements about Climate Change ›
- A climate denial video has 6 million views. Facebook doesn't care ... ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."