Climate Change Misinformation on Social Media

How can we consume and produce content responsibly online?



The central aim of this project is to shed light on the manipulative nature of content online, whether inaccurate information is being disseminated to the masses or a certain group of people has decided to voice their opinions on an issue without consulting any research or facts beforehand.

 "...this stuff is really dangerous, even though it feels like a fact checker or reverse image search would debunk it in two seconds. It’s fundamentally feeding into this constant drip, drip, drip of stuff that’s reinforcing your worldview."

- Claire Wardle, a co-director of the Information Futures Lab at Brown University. 

Hsu, Tiffany. “Worries Grow That TikTok Is New Home for Manipulated Video and Photos.” The New York Times, 2022.

The central problem(s)


The perceived social consensus of online readers has been discovered to significantly shape their reactions to online information, which is problematic because the opinions that they formulate are largely based on the opinions of other readers rather than the content itself.

Readers’ abilities to actively participate in discussions online allow for easy publication of misinformation as well as popularized dissent with scientifically proven information.

“Echo chambers” on social media contribute to the spread of misinformation by allowing people to band together and reinforce the beliefs they already hold regardless of their validity.

Data collection demonstrates that “Left-right political ideology and environmentalist-sceptic climate opinions are very strongly correlated” and “very few domains appear in the right-wing/environmentalist and left-wing/sceptic quadrants” (Cann).

Cann, Tristan J. B., et al. “Ideological Biases in Social Sharing of Online Information About Climate Change.” PloS One, vol. 16, no. 4, 2021, p. e0250656–.

Lewandowsky, Stephan, et al. “Science by Social Media: Attitudes Towards Climate Change Are Mediated by Perceived Social Consensus.” Memory & Cognition, vol. 47, no. 8, 2019, pp. 1445–56.

Okay, so.. What should we do about it?

See the next page for some possible solutions


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