Pinterest bans climate change misinformation

Image Credit: Pinterest

Pinterest announced on Wednesday a new policy banning any content and ads containing conspiracy theories, misinformation and disinformation related to climate change. 

As part of its new policy, Pinterest will remove content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus. 

“Our new policy makes Pinterest the only major digital platform to have clearly defined guidelines against false or misleading climate change information, including conspiracy theories, across content and ads,” the company said in a blog post. 

It will also ban false or misleading content about climate change solutions, content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, and harmful false or misleading content about public safety emergencies including natural disasters and extreme weather events.

The company said they’ve also updated the Advertising guidelines to explicitly prohibit any ads containing conspiracy theories and misinformation related to climate change. 

“Pinterest believes in cultivating a space that’s trusted and truthful for those using our platform. This bold move is an expansion of our broader misinformation guidelines, which we first developed in 2017 to address public health misinformation, and have since updated to address new and emerging issues as they come to the forefront. The expanded climate misinformation policy is yet another step in Pinterest’s journey to combat misinformation and create a safe space online,” said Sarah Bromma, Pinterest’s Head of Policy.

Pinterest states that searches in its platform for “zero waste tips” were 6X greater, “recycling clothes ideas” were 4X higher, “recycled home decor” increased by +95% and “zero waste lifestyle” increased by +64% compared to last year.

Social media companies are under increasing pressure for their role in spreading misinformation about climate change. In November 2021, more than 200 climate scientists, activists and the organization signed an open letter to Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Reddit executives, urging them to implement climate misinformation policies.

Google said in October that it would no longer allow ads on YouTube and its other services that go against the scientific consensus on climate change, but will allow content that discusses false claims.

Written by Sophie Blake

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