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Facebook fuels climate misinformation online, report finds



Facebook says it is tackling misinformation with a global network of independent fact checking partners but campaigners say it is not enough to contain misleading posts

Facebook is fueling climate misinformation around the world, allowing misleading claims and climate denial to circulate widely on its platform, a new report claims. 

The social media giant does not mention tackling climate misinformation in any of its advertising policies or community standards, according to a Stop Funding the Heat campaign report.

Examples of misinformation widely distributed on Facebook include false claims that frozen wind turbines were the main cause of Texas power outages and inaccurate reports that arson was the cause of bushfires in Australia. 

“Facebook is talking the talk but not walking the walk on climate misinformation,” Sean Buchan, lead author of the report, told Climate Home News. 

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“They say they are doing a lot about it, but we haven’t seen any evidence that they are fighting climate misinformation with the vigour they are implying,” said Buchan. 

Facebook told Climate Home News that the platform directly connects over 100,000 people every day with reliable information through its Climate Science Information Centre, which was set up in September. The centre compiles data and expert information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and the UN environment programme. 

Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of devastation in western India, fuelled by a warming sea

“We combat climate change misinformation by working with a global network of independent fact checking partners to review and rate content,” a Facebook spokesperson said. 

But Buchan said the centre does not do enough to prevent climate misinformation slipping through.

“It’s not sufficient right now. With Cop26 around the corner, climate misinformation is going to be on the rise,” said Buchan.

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“This is a really big opportunity for Facebook to take leadership on this. These sorts of events have been derailed by misinformation campaigns before,” he added.

Australian MP George Christensen spreads false information which was shared 1,400 times.

The report highlights the global scale of misinformation, from Australia to the US. 

During the bushfires in Australia last year, bots and trolls spread false posts on Facebook claiming that arson by environmental campaigners was to blame, the report states. 

Misleading claims by US conservative pundits, saying that frozen wind turbines were causing mass power outages in Texas in February, were shared on Facebook without fact-checking labels.

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This Fox News misinformation has no fact-check warning and has been viewed 4.4 million times.

Fact-checking website Snopes has described these claims as “mostly false”. It found that the power outages were mostly caused by failing fossil fuel and nuclear power generation. “Far from being the main culprit, wind turbine shutdowns accounted for only a fraction of the loss of electricity and power generation,” it said.

According to human rights group Avaaz, the top 10 Facebook posts about wind turbine failures received more than 15.8 million views. “Facebook failed to apply a fact-checking label on 42 posts, which were responsible for 45% of total estimated views,” Avaaz said.

Genevieve Guenther, director of the campaign group End Climate Silence, has experienced Facebook’s inadequate policies on climate misinformation first-hand. 

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“Facebook does not allow groups like End Climate Silence to promote posts that contain climate-science research. They flag and disallow these posts as ‘political content’,” Guenther told Climate Home News. 

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“But they do allow climate-denial groups to promote posts containing disinformation, circumventing their fact-checking process, by labelling such posts as ‘opinion’,” she added. 

In its report, Stop Funding the Heat calls on Facebook to update its community and advertising standards to include climate disinformation and stop taking money from climate denial groups. 

Buchan said brands and investors play an important role in driving Facebook to crack down on misinformation. “A brand could cease advertising because it does not want to be associated with a specific piece of misinformation. Brands can threaten Facebook’s bottom line,” he said. 

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Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0





Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.

For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.

General Updates

Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting

As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.

We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.

This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.

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Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API

Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.

With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.

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Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.

Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads

  • Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads

    Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
  • Re-Launching Call Ads via API

    On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.

    Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

Graph API changes for user granular permission feature

We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:

  • Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
  • Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account

With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).

The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.

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Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights

Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.

This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.

After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.

Please review the media insights and user insights developer documentation to learn more.

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Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints

Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.

API Version Deprecations:

As part of Facebook’s versioning schedule for Graph API and Marketing API, please note the upcoming deprecations:

Graph API

  • September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

Marketing API

  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.

Facebook Platform SDK

As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:

  • October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
  • February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset

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Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)





Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.

After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.

We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.

Please review the developer documentation to learn more.

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Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers





We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.

FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.

FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.

Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.


If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.

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Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.

Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.

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