When talking about climate change and conspiracy theories, disbelievers will often share misconceptions about science, the impacts of CO2, and so on. Most of those suppositions claim that global warming is a hoax. However, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support it. What is true: denying the impact of human behavior on our environment can be problematic.
To combat this issue, Pinterest released a new policy to ban misinformation about the climate crisis on the platform. The new community guidelines from Pinterest show a higher commitment to combat misinformation and taking accountability for climate change.
Also, this means brands have to take care of their organic content and advertising in order to follow these new rules.
If it’s well-known that consumers are willing to prefer eco-friendly products, sustainable marketing has to be more than a trend. Rather it must be a real philosophy for content creators.
Climate Change and Social Media
Climate Change is not a new topic on social media. Even before Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN, many activists and organizations have warned about the impact of human behavior on the environment.
In fact, the green movement started between the 60s and 70s when scientists began to be concerned about our influence on the Earth’s contamination. Ever since, the message hasn’t stopped spreading around the world through different channels such as the press, radio, and TV. The Internet hasn’t been an exception.
For example, the search intent about having an eco-friendly life has grown 6x compared to last year. Also, recycling ideas and DIY are a very popular trend on platforms like Pinterest, which is focusing on giving more visibility to those advocates for a greener life.
To complement this idea, experts have declared that social media can be a powerful weapon to fight climate change. Innovation and technology helps to reduce the risk and impacts of natural disasters. Also, it allows better decision-making by helping to spread relevant information.
They confirm the positive impact that social media like Twitter has when it comes to natural disasters. It helps to mobilize efforts and resources almost instantly. In other words, it makes it easier to aid those in need.
Climate change and skepticism
The other side of the coin is not positive, but rather quite harmful. On the same platform that we find ideas to have a more eco-friendly life, we also can detect misleading content. Claiming climate change is a hoax is a common trait for this kind of fake news.
What is concerning is the spread of these ideas on social media. A research done at Carnegie Mellon University found that climate change disbelievers share more conspiracy theories about the climate crisis than believers do. The number of tweets and retweets made by skepticists is greater than believers.
On the other hand, The Guardian, has found that in the first half of 2020, Adverts on Facebook denying the reality of environment pollution were viewed at least 8 million times in the US.
Previously, some actions had been taken. For instance, the Competition and Markets Authority is now investigating products and services that claim to be eco-friendly but are actually spreading misleading information to their viewers.
On the other hand, we can highlight the efforts of Meta from last year. A good example is how the company took down 9.2 million posts deemed as content with a harassing nature from Facebook, and 7.8 million of the same types of posts on Instagram. Also, the platform has removed advertising that evokes sensitive topics.
Even if these actions don’t necessarily have to do with climate change denial, it shows a greater concern about stopping the spread of fake news and building a safer environment for digital users.
Green Marketing or Sustainable Marketing
The new Pinterest policy should encourage marketers to focus on other topics for their branding. Taking into consideration, Green Marketing or Sustainable Marketing are interesting strategies to apply in these decades. But be careful, a bad implementation of these practices or spreading false information to sell products can be considered as Green-washing.
By definition, green marketing involves the creation and promotion of environmentally friendly products, services and practices. Some methods can include using eco-friendly packaging, having a recycle program, or using renewable energy.
Also, sustainable marketing is about promoting a socially responsible aspect of your company. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an eco-friendly product. This practice goes far beyond the environment, as it is intertwined with other issues such as poverty, hunger and discrimination.
Pinterest is now applying these principles by changing the rules of their platform. They are trying to spread better messages based on facts and what is good for the environment, and the community as a whole.
Brands should do the same thing. Both on and outside of Pinterest.
Why do brands need to be more eco-friendly?
Recent studies have shown the importance of socially responsible decisions in the eyes of customers. For example, according to Forbes, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that are environmentally or socially responsible. Additionally, they have an 88% greater chance of winning over the loyalty of their clients.
These practices could also yield further benefits for brands, such as:
- Improving their reputation;
- Saving money on the logistics of a product or service;
- Attracting new audiences that are more concerned about climate change.
However, the business benefits of being eco-friendly don’t have to be the one and only reason to have this approach. The desire to genuinely want to help your community and your environment has to be enough to look for improvements to your marketing strategy.
Misinformation and fake news tries to change our perception of reality with something that is not true, which is really dangerous. These new practices to be implemented by Pinterest, Meta and other businesses show us that there are some things we can’t simply deny or ignore. Climate change is one of them.
As companies, we do so much more than just selling a product. That is why taking care of our internal and external processes and communications is essential to make a positive impact in our world and mitigate the climate crisis.