Elon Musk Takeover of Twitter Raises Fears of Climate Misinformation During COP27 Summit

Climate deniers are looking to block action, and “green cleaners” companies may be free to rein in Twitter after Elon Musk takes over, analysts warn as leaders pursuing efforts to combat warming at the COP27 summit.

The Tesla The billionaire and self-declared libertarian has laid off thousands of employees — with sustainability executives Sean Boyle and Casey Junod among those who signed off the platform last week.

Musk promised to reduce ‘s Twitter content restrictions and after the takeover announced plans to set up a “content moderation board” to review policies.

Professor Naomi Oreskes said: “It is not clear what Mr. Musk actually plans to do. of history of science at Harvard University, author of leading studies on climate misinformation.

“Greenwashing” means that companies mislead the public about their impact on the planet through token messages and gestures.

“We could also see an increase in hateful comments directed at scientists and climate advocates, especially women,” Oreskes said.

Following the acquisition, a climate journalist tweeted that he had received death threats on the platform. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sustainability enforcers are malfunctioning

Researchers and campaigners say that despite measures announced by social platforms, climate misinformation is thriving, undermining trust in climate change and action. needed to solve it.

Twitter and other tech giants like Facebook and Google have said they are working to make false claims less visible.

However, in a detailed study this year, the Institute for Details said that in a detailed study this year, the Institute for Details said the messages were intended to “deny, deceive and delay ” related to climate action has been popular on social media.

According to Twitter’s policy prior to the takeover, it said “misleading ads on Twitter that contradict the scientific consensus on climate change are prohibited”.

“We believe that climate denialism should not be monetized on Twitter and that misleading advertising must not detract from important conversations about the climate crisis,” Boyle and Junod wrote in a blog post. Earth Day post on Twitter’s blog.

Both posted messages on November 4 with the hashtag “LoveWhereYouWorked”, indicating they were among those fired after Musk took over $44 million (about 3,37,465 crore). They did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Scientists at risk

In addition to misinformation, some experts warn that climate scientists themselves face threats if regulation falters.

The surge in hate speech prompted Twitter’s head of safety and integrity Yoel Roth to react, trying to assuage concerns. He tweeted that “the platform’s core moderation capabilities remain intact”.

Musk wrote on November 4 that “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains completely unchanged.”

Genevieve Guenther, founder of media activist group End Climate Silence, said: “I worry that scientific bias will find a larger footing on Twitter under Musk’s leadership.

“But I worry even more that the site will begin to disparage scientists and climate advocates who criticize right-wing views, preventing them from connecting with each other and with political activists. decisions in the media and government.”

Green tick at COP?

Among Musk’s plans is an $8 monthly fee for users to have a blue check mark on their name — currently a token of authenticity for officials, celebrities, journalists, and others. other.

“For me, this is opening the door to highly coordinated misinformation and manipulation,” said Melissa Aronczyk, an associate professor of communications and information at Rutgers University.

Musk said the move is aimed at reducing hate speech by making it too expensive for trolls with multiple accounts.

Aronczyk argues that the system will provide a token of authenticity to those willing to pay for a blue tick to advance an agenda.

She pointed to the controversy surrounding Hill + Knowlton Strategies – a PR firm that works for major fossil fuel companies – allegedly hired by the host country Egypt to handle public relations for the summit. COP27.

“Imagine every Hill + Knowlton employee working for COP27 creating a network of green checking accounts to advance business-led initiatives at the summit. Or downplaying meetings. conflict or ignore the protests,” Aronczyk said.

“It essentially lets the company’s green cleaning become the default style of communication about climate change.”

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