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Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation

Facebook has suspended the accounts of several environmental organizations less than a week after launching an initiative it said would counter a tide of misinformation over climate science on the platform. Groups such as Greenpeace USA, Climate Hawks Vote and Rainforest Action Network were among those blocked from posting or sending messages on Facebook... Activists say hundreds of other individual accounts linked to indigenous, climate and social justice groups were also suspended for an alleged “intellectual property rights violation”.

The suspended people and groups were all involved in a Facebook event from May last year that targeted KKR & Co, a US investment firm that is backing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, a 670km-long gas development being built in northern British Columbia, Canada.

The suspensions, the day before another online action aimed at KKR & Co, has enraged activists who oppose the pipeline for its climate impact and for cutting through the land of the Wetʼsuwetʼen, a First Nations people... In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Our systems mistakenly removed these accounts and content. They have since been restored and we’ve lifted any limits imposed on identified profiles.”

... “We’re committed to tackling climate misinformation,” Facebook said in a statementthat also outlined its own efforts to reduce its own net greenhouse gas emissions to zero this year. The information center will include posts from trusted scientific sources, rated by fact-checkers... But climate organizations have questioned whether Facebook is doing enough to cut down on untruths about the climate crisis that are spread across the site.

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