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  • Climate activists occupy the Bundesplatz square in front of the Swiss parliament building, the Bundeshaus, where the Swiss parliament currently holds its fall meeting, during a 'Rise up for Change' week of action, in Bern, Switzerland, September 22, 2020.

    Climate activists occupy the Bundesplatz square in front of the Swiss parliament building, the Bundeshaus, where the Swiss parliament currently holds its fall meeting, during a 'Rise up for Change' week of action, in Bern, Switzerland, September 22, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 22 September 2020
Opinion

The accounts blocking also occurred after Facebook announced its climate science information center, supposedly to categorize and avert climate-misinforming posts and to back posts from scientific sources.

Facebook blocked the accounts of several environmental organizations instead of a significant investment company involved in fossil energy production.

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The social media suspended the profiles of Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network, and other environmentalist organizations. The platform also blocked hundreds of individual accounts of indigenous, climate, and social justice advocators. 

The affected users participated in a Facebook event in May of 2019, which aimed against KKR & Co, one of the endorsers of the Coastal GasLink in Canada. The pipeline construction threatened the ancestral territory of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, a First Nations people.

“Videos of extreme violence, alt-right views and calls for violence by militias in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are allowed to persist on Facebook. Yet we are banned and receive threats for permanent removal, for posting an online petition,” said a Wet’suwet’ activist and community member Delee Nikal.

The accounts blocking also occurred after Facebook announced its climate science information center, supposedly to categorize and avert climate-misinforming posts and to back posts from scientific sources.

“As with all types of claims debunked by our fact-checkers, we reduce the distribution of these posts in News Feed and apply a warning label on top of these posts both on Facebook and Instagram, so people understand that the content has been rated false,” the platform said.

However, activists find that Facebook is failing to comply with that premise, as fact-checkers cannot block some posts about climate change because of the social network policies. In September, fact-checkers could not overturn an article of the CO2 Coalition – an organization that denies the impact of CO2 on our planet- that criticized climate models.

“Actions speak louder than words, and once again, Facebook has taken actions that are in stark contrast to public statements from the company,” said senior corporate campaigner at Greenpeace U.S., Elizabeth Jardim.

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