Social media companies will have to act more actively to tackle the spread of fake news about climate change in 2023, according to analysts.

The news comes after years of accusations that companies like Meta, Twitter and TikTok are doing way too little to fight the spread of misinformation on their platforms.

The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s win in the the US presidential election have both been attributed to the spread of fake news across social media platforms.

However, Maddy Irwin, analyst at GlobalData, hopes that next year will finally be the year that Big Tech firms do something about the spread of fake news on their platforms.

“In 2023, social media platforms will be pressured to act on climate misinformation, which obviously isn’t a new issue, but it’s becoming increasingly prevalent,” she said in a new podcast from the research firm.

“So currently, there’s a lack of policies, which kind of position social media platforms as vulnerable to widespread misinformation. And the main worry of this is that a rise in climate denialism on social media sites can slow climate action in devastating ways.”

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By GlobalData

Irwin pointed at Twitter as an example, saying that the spread of fake news has worsened on the platform ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over the social media company in October.

“When you search for climate on Twitter ‘climate scam’ regularly appears at the top,” Irwin said. “So awareness of this issue is growing. [Consequently] campaigners at COP 27 this year and other environmental groups have increased pressure on top social platforms.

“Therefore, in 2023, I think these platforms will be pushed to respond and implement other policies, similar to measures that were taken on the Covid-19 pandemic, but also kind of to prevent the Twitter mayhem from occurring on other sites.”

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.