Pinterest is enforcing a new climate misinformation policy to combat any type of content that denies the existence or impact of climate change, or spreads false information about natural disasters or extreme weather events.
The company announced its decision on Wednesday as an extension of its community guidelines on misinformation and disinformation.
Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board where users seek inspiration on things like home decor, recipes and gardening, is now the first major online platform to impose a ban on climate change misinformation .
The platform notes a growing interest from its users in a more sustainable lifestyle, with searches for “zero waste lifestyle” increasing by 64% in the past year.
The new policy will remove content that denies human influence on climate change or promotes false information about climate change solutions. It will also remove posts that distort scientific data to encourage distrust of climate experts as well as content that spreads harmful information about public safety in an emergency.
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Pinterest also prohibits ads that promote conspiracy theories, misinformation, and misinformation related to climate change.
The company worked with the Climate Disinformation Coalition and the Conscious Advertising Network to develop its policy based on common misinformation themes they notice across different media platforms.
“This bold move is an extension of our broader Misinformation Guidelines, which we first developed in 2017 to address public health misinformation, and which we have since updated to address emerging issues. and emerging as they come to the fore,” Sarah Bromma, Pinterest policy manager. , said in a statement. “The expanded climate misinformation policy is another step in Pinterest’s journey to combat misinformation and create a safe space online.”
In 2017, Pinterest rolled out a policy targeting health misinformation, like anti-vaccine content. They then banned political campaign ads in 2018 and weight loss ads in 2021.
The announcement comes a few days after the publication of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warned that the world must impose drastic changes over the next three years to try to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Last year, Google announced that it would no longer run advertisements denying the existence and causes of climate change. But social media platforms still need to step up their efforts to tackle climate change misinformation online. In November 2021, The Conscious Advertising Network wrote a open letter directed at Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Reddit, urging them to enforce policies against climate misinformation.
“Implement policies and enforcement of disinformation and climate disinformation that extend to content, algorithms and advertising, similar to the robust Covid-19 policies that have been released over the past 18 months,” the letter read.