How can we fight misinformation about the climate crisis?

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The following write up was developed in response to a question raised by an organizer to the Climate Justice Organizing Hub. Included in the below article are factors to consider when thinking about fighting misinformation, some techniques used to misinform the public, strategies you can use to combat misinformation and some further resources. The included information comes from existing organizer databases and resources by movement thinkers.

Factors to Consider [1]

Misinformation is the intentional, or unintentional, dissemination of false and misleading information. - Blueprints for Change

  1. Marginalized communities are increasingly the targets of disinformation campaigns.
  2. Groups benefiting from the status quo distort the narrative of movements working for social change. E.g.: Canada Action
  3. Groups and individuals who have access to significant financial resources are supported by tech giants who specialize in creating engagement.

Reset Australia and Purpose are organizations that work to create models of disinformation to identify the problems and consequences that are (and will be) caused by it.

Reset proposes public policies aimed at combating disinformation which are based in particular on:

  • Transparency about content aimed at influencing us
  • The rights to protect your data
  • The balance of power against the web giants.

“Campaigns for stricter regulation of social media platforms are seen as a crucial part of countering misinformation. -Iain McIntyre, The Commons

Techniques Used to Misinform the Public

By Companies [2]

  1. Passing off fake searches as legitimate searches
  2. Put pressure on scientists who harm the industry
  3. Banking on uncertainty (as small as it is)
  4. Create false credibility by allying with academic or professorial circles
  5. Manipulate officials or democratic processes

On social media [3]

  1. Satire and parody
  2. False impression: title, visual and subtitles not supporting the content
  3. Misleading content
  4. False context
  5. Legit source imitated
  6. manipulated content

Strategies to Combat Misinformation [4] [5] [6]

Do not share links leading to misinformation, better share screenshots
Remember that reporting misinformation helps it spread, which is undesirable
Keep in mind the enormous power of disinformation on public opinion
The framing of the message matters. When you want to correct information, going straight to the point and being clear helps limit interpretations. Testimonials also help to respond in a less “reactionary” way.
Having prepared a rapid response system to disinformation campaigns builds resilience against them.
Acting in coalition (helps facilitate the application of the strategies below through the sharing of resources, ideas and knowledge)
Get ahead by anticipating disinformation discourse 
Do not act passively in the face of misinformation
Promote useful and relevant information rather than giving visibility to disinformation discourse 

Further resources

-Dealing with disinformation (Blueprints for Change)

-Fighting misinformation course (SOGI campaigns)

-Interactive game (Get Bad News)

-Verification handbook (Data Journalism)

-Fighting disinformation (Ultraviolet Drives Feminist Culture and Political Change)

-Fighting against disinformation (Disinfo Defense League)

-Exxon Mobile 1977-2014 (IOP Science)

-Misinformation by the Fossil Industry (Union of Concerned Scientists)

-Critique of the troll hunting approach (Reset Australia)

If you have any suggested revisions or additional resources to share related to the above content, please email them to

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