Read Facebook’s response to Climate Power 2020’s Executive Director, Lori Lodes, as calls grow for the company to stop the spread of climate misinformation.

On July 1, 2020, a coalition of climate leaders sent this letter to Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Facebook’s Oversight Board demanding they act to stop the spread of climate misinformation. The response below was received on July 3, 2020.

July 3, 2020

Dear Lori,

Many thanks for your letter requesting the Oversight Board’s attention on issues regarding Facebook policies on climate change misinformation.

We understand your organization and others around the world are eager for the Board to officially begin its task of providing independent oversight of Facebook’s content decisions. We share this urgency, but the Board has not yet commenced operations.

In May 2020, the first set of Board Members were announced, but they are not in an immediate position to make decisions on issues like those we see unfolding today. As detailed in our June operational update, the Board is currently focused on some of the critical steps required to stand up the new institution. We also do not expect the Board to regularly issue opinions outside of decisions on content referred to the Board by users or Facebook, as well as policy recommendations resulting from these decisions.

Many of our Board Members have been publicly critical of how Facebook has handled content issues and agreed to participate based on their belief that the status quo is broken. Free expression and human rights do not need to be in conflict with each other any more than the environment and the economy, which were once pitted as false choices. I should emphasize that many of the issues of concern today – from misinformation to advertising content – are within the Board’s scope and it is the Board’s commitment to bring independent oversight from the moment they are operational.

Please note that I have forwarded your message to Facebook’s communication team.

Best wishes,

Dex Hunter-Torricke
Head of Communications
The Oversight Board