Pro-fossil fuel Facebook ads: Oil industry spent millions to control the climate change conversation

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Aug 05, 2021, 07:22 PM IST
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File photo Photograph:(ANI)

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More recent commercials from the oil industry utilise subtler messaging to hinder action on global warming than blatant denial, such as presenting natural gas as a green fuel source and claiming that decarbonization will make energy costly. 

Advertisers on the internet are always attempting to sell you something, and in the case of shoes or leather products, and home appliances that something is quite obvious.

Sometimes, though, the motivation behind a sponsored article is less clear.

According to a recent study, big oil companies are intentionally using Facebook to bombard consumers with a continuous stream of messages aimed at delaying the end of fossil fuel consumption.

According to a research released Thursday by InfluenceMap, pro-fossil fuel advertising was watched more than 431 million times on Facebook's US platforms in 2020 alone. 

ExxonMobil and other fossil-fuel firms have increased their advertising on the social networking site in order to shape the political discussion regarding measures to combat global warming, according to the study. 

According to the study, the fossil-fuel sector has shifted away from open denial of the climate issue and is instead promoting oil and gas as part of the answer via social media.

The investigation also revealed Facebook's role in promoting the spread of misleading claims about global warming by failing to consistently enforce its own regulations to prevent erroneous advertising, according to the report. 

"The oil and gas industry is using a more sophisticated playbook to undermine climate action, which involves the use of more subtle and nuanced messaging tactics," the report found.

The revelation comes as Facebook continues to face criticism for its involvement in the dissemination of disinformation, particularly election-related falsehoods in 2020. 

(With inputs from agencies)