The popular image-focused social networking platform Pinterest is promising to do its part in the fight against fake news by blocking all content that denies, twists, or in any way spreads misinformation about the climate crisis.
As reported by The Guardian, Pinterest’s new policy defines misinformation rather broadly as content that denies the existence or effects of climate change or humanity’s hand in it, as well as content that “misrepresents scientific data,” and misleading reports about natural disasters and extreme weather events.
“Pinterest believes in cultivating a space that’s trusted and truthful for those using our platform,” states the company’s head of policy Sarah Bromma. She goes on to say that the company decided to make this move as an expansion of the misinformation guidelines they developed to address public health misinformation in 2017, adding that “the expanded climate misinformation policy is yet another step in Pinterest’s journey to combat misinformation and create a safe space online.”
The platform has made considerable efforts to set itself apart from other social media outlets by attempting to be more stringent in their limiting of various categories of misinformation. Pinterest’s position on removing dangerous or damaging falsehoods stands in contrast to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s argument that technology companies shouldn’t be in the position to judge what is true or not.
Pinterest takes it a step further by limiting its own search engine tools, so that when users search for health-related terms like “vaccines” or “cancer cure,” they will not be shown results as they normally would be, but instead are redirected to health advice posted on the platform from credible organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Vaccine Safety Net.