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Twitter seeing ‘stark comeback’ of climate crisis denial posts, study warns.


Researchers say there has seen a “surprising increase” in content on Twitter that denies the existence of the climate crisis, with such misinformation flourishing on the platform since it was bought by Tesla chief Elon Musk.
A new report published on Thursday by the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) coalition found that the hashtag “#ClimateScam” suddenly spiked on Twitter in July 2022. By December it had accrued more than 362k mentions (including retweets) from 91k unique users.
It alleges that the term “Climate Scam” is being actively recommended by Twitter for organic searches of “climate”, frequently appearing as the top search result.
While hashtags like “#ClimateCrisis” and “#ClimateEmergency” are seeing more activity and engagement on Twitter, the report says the term “Climate Scam” continues to grow in trends.
With the source of this trend remaining unclear, the report calls for the need for transparency on how and why social media platforms surface content to its users.
The report found that only some of the content under this hashtag was labelled on Twitter as misinformation, and that many popular posts were not.
“It is unclear what role algorithms are playing in this surge. During COP27, our Intelligence Unit noticed that an organic search for the word “climate” on Twitter returned #ClimateScam ahead of two other, ostensibly ‘pro-green’ hashtags,” researchers wrote in the report.
Since the Tesla and SpaceX chief’s takeover of Twitter, content moderation approaches have seen major changes on the platform.
Twitter is reportedy relying more on artificial intelligence to moderate content.
The company’s entire human rights and machine learning ethics teams as well as outsourced contract workers working on safety concerns were all reduced to no staff or a handful of people following mass layoffs in November 2022 when Twitter slashed its workforce from 7,500 to roughly 2,000.
When researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate surveyed accounts verified after Mr Musk’s take over of the company, they found that these accounts spread four times the amount of climate change misinformation compared to those that were verified before the Tesla chief’s purchase of Twitter.

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  • Gorffly mokua

    74 w

    Elon is a climate denier. He seems to care less about environment!

    2
    • Elizabeth Gathigia

      74 w

      Indeed this very wrong

      1
      • Peter Karanga

        74 w

        Elon musk not a good way to go

        4
        • Peter Karanga

          74 w

          Climate change deniers

          3
          • rosebellendiritu

            74 w

            It's wrong and sad for such hashtags to be trending so fast.

            Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
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