Platforms Foment Climate Misinformation, Creating a Thorny Landscape for Brands

Fossil-fuel solutionism has proliferated on social media

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When Jill Hopke, an associate professor of journalism at DePaul University, was researching ads on Twitter during the global climate change conference COP26 last month, she saw ads with phrases like “lower carbon,” “reducing methane emissions” and “net-zero emissions.”

These ads did not come from eco-conscious startups or conservation NGOs, but from companies that sell fossil fuel.

Hopke said this kind of messaging is called fossil-fuel solutionism or cherry-picking data because it casts an overly rosy picture of oil and gas companies’ environmental impact—whatever efforts these companies are making to fight climate change is dwarfed by the existential threat their business models pose to the planet.



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