The Toxic Ten

How 10 fringe publishers fuel 69% of digital climate change denial

The science is undeniable - human activity is warming our planet at an ever-accelerating rate and leading to catastrophic climate change.

Yet, ten publishers - The Toxic Ten -  are spreading baseless, unscientific climate denial on their own websites and across social media. They are responsible for 69% of all interactions with climate denial content on Facebook.

It's a climate denial propaganda machine funded in part by Google via ad revenue, and spread across the world via social media, in particular Facebook, who allow them to pay to promote their denial. 

We are calling on Facebook and Google to stop promoting and funding climate denial, start labelling it as misinformation, and stop giving the advantages of their enormous platforms to lies and misinformation.

Who are the Toxic Ten?
Read the full report

Facebook and Google:
Stop cashing in on The Toxic Ten.
Demand action now

What people are saying

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Michael Khoo,
Friends of the Earth

Facebook and other social media companies knew these were the super-spreaders, and now must take action to stop their platforms’ amplification of climate denial. These extremist outlets would not be able to try to persuade mainstream Americans to deny climate change, if it were not for the leg up that Facebook has given them.”

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
 

Facebook and other social media companies make money when they send users down rabbit holes of climate denial. That’s a very dangerous business model for the future of the planet. It’s hard to tell which is more disgusting: Facebook propagating this disinformation, or the fossil fuel industry funding it.

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Rebecca Lenn,
Avaaz

This report is another damning look into how tech platforms are helping fuel climate lies and conspiracy theories with uncontrolled algorithms, irresponsible ad services, and poorly enforced policies. If Facebook and Google are truly committed to fighting climate change, they would fully detox their algorithms and stop funding climate misinformers with their ad services.

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Lord Oates, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson on the Climate Emergency

The revelation that so much online engagement with climate misinformation can be traced back to just ten sites—many of which are highly politically motivated—should be a wake up call to social media companies.

They need to abide by their own policies and stop profiting from misinformation which could literally end up costing the earth

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Dr. Astrid Caldas,
Union of Concerned Scientists

The science on climate change has been clear for decades, but those who push climate disinformation have been able to muddy the waters and delay much needed climate action. By monetizing and profiting from climate disinformation, tech companies are working in direct contradiction to their own sustainability commitments and to our ability to achieve the kind of real, systematic changes science tells us are needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

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Faye Holder,
InfluenceMap

This research demonstrates once again that Big Tech is not following through on its very public commitments to climate action, and is instead allowing climate disinformation to pollute the discussion on climate change. Just as Big Oil has shown it can't be left to regulate itself, so too has Big Tech. It is therefore vital for policymakers to step in to help prevent this deluge of disinformation

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Julia Masters
Climate Disinformation Coalition

Climate disinformation on Facebook and Twitter is running rampant, especially as we enter the international negotiations in Glasgow.  As research has shown, the vast majority of disinformation can be both traced back to a small group of actors, and the vast majority of it goes unflagged.  It is completely unacceptable that Big Tech allows the spread of climate denial, threatening action on climate change and our very future.