New report shows that 10 Facebook pages are responsible for 69% of climate denial posts

A new report from the Center For Countering Digital Hate analyzed nearly 7,000 top-performing climate denial Facebook posts from the last year, and found that 69% of them came from the same 10 pages:

  • Breitbart
  • Western Journal
  • Newsmax
  • Townhall Media (which, the report notes, was founded by the Exxon-funded Heritage Foundation)
  • Media Research Center (another Exxon-backed "think tank")
  • The Washington Times
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Daily Wire
  • and Sputnik News
  • Patriot Post

Here are some takeaway from this report about the "Toxic Ten":

The Toxic Ten have 186 million followers on mainstream social media platforms. The Toxic Ten account for 69% of interactions on climate denial Facebook posts

CCDH analyzed 6,983 climate denial articles from the last year featured in Facebook posts with 709,057 interactions in total using the social analytics tool NewsWhip.

This analysis shows that posts containing articles from just ten websites account for 69.69% of Facebook users' interactions with the climate denial content in our study.

Despite promising to start attaching information labels to posts about climate change, 92% of posts containing content from the Toxic Ten carried no labels. 99.05% of user interactions with posts containing Toxic Ten content were with posts that carried no information or fact-checking labels.

The Toxic Ten's websites have received nearly 1.1 billion visits in the last six months alone, earning those that are part of Google's AdSense platform an estimated $3.6m. This money is given to Google by brands such as Chevrolet, Capital One and the delivery company DHL International, whose Google AdSense ads have run on Toxic Ten sites.

In October 2021, Google announced that it would start prohibiting climate denial ads and demonetize climate denial on YouTube. Facebook Meta has yet to make, let alone deliver, any similar promises.

The Toxic Ten: How ten fringe publishers fuel 69% of digital climate change denial [The Center For Countering Digital Hate]

Image: Edward Kimmel / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)