Image from Avaaz’s “Detox the Algorithm” campaign

It has become well-established knowledge that social media algorithms promote content that stokes controversy. They do so in an attempt to keep users on their platforms for longer times. The ill-effects of this are playing out in many different spheres, including climate change. A recent analysis by Avaaz showed that YouTube was broadcasting climate change denial videos to millions of viewers. This debate often turns into discussions about “free speech” that don’t seem to be resolving much of the root issue. Meanwhile, actors on the political far-right have learned how to play these algorithms to broadcast their views to audiences far greater than they would otherwise be able to reach. This week’s post looks closer at these tactics. In an episode of the Data & Society podcast, guest Joe Mulhall, senior researcher at European anti-extremism NGO HOPE not hate, explores how the international far-right is leveraging the current climate crisis.

Data & Society: Climate Change and Conspiracy: Networked Disinformation

°Tracker: Climate Change and Disinformation