Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter) ranked lowest in the climate misinformation scorecard, despite promises to combat misinformation on his platform.
The world’s richest man bought Twitter in October 2022 for $44 billion and renamed it X in July after merging the company with X Corp. in April.
Since he acquired Twitter, Musk has always fought misinformation and promised to make Twitter a reliable app.
Musk even told Twitter employees that he wants the service to contribute to a long-lasting civilization.
Best way to fight misinformation is to respond with accurate information, not censorship
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 16, 2023
“I want Twitter to contribute to a better, long-lasting civilization where we better understand the nature of reality,” said the then-Twitter boss, Musk, in the meeting, which was livestreamed to Twitter employees.
“Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” reads the note.
Furthermore, Musk even restored previously suspended accounts after a voting pole was in favor of them (72.4% in November 2022).
Twitter, now X, is approaching the one-year mark under Musk and has ranked lowest on the climate misinformation scoreboard.
Pinterest leads, TikTok surpasses Meta
The scoreboard launched by environmental groups indicates that Pinterest, an American image sharing and social media platform, came out on top (12 points), while Musk’s X got 1 point.
Similarly, China-owned and one of the most popular and controversial social media platforms, TikTok, grabbed second place with 9 points on the board.
And @CNBC ranks 1st in posting about X on X
— Brandon Els (@TheOldCootBiker) September 20, 2023
Facebook and Instagram, part of Meta Platforms Inc., collected 8 points to become third, while YouTube came in fourth place with 6 points—half the points of the table-topping Pinterest.
Finding misinformation about climate change is an easy task on X, where influential accounts often promote climate change denial or propagate conspiracy theories related to green energy initiatives.
Even the platform owner, Musk, has made inaccurate statements, asserting that activities occurring above ground have no influence on climate change.
“Twitter/X received only one point—lacking clear policies that address climate misinformation, having no substantive public transparency mechanisms, and offering no evidence of effective policy enforcement,” reads the report.
“In the case of X/Twitter, Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company has created uncertainty about which policies are still standing and which are not. While some policy content on Twitter/X’s website dated before the acquisition could potentially benefit the fight against climate disinformation, such as its announcement to ban ‘misleading advertisements on Twitter/X that contradict the scientific consensus on climate change,’ many policies are no longer being enforced, according to outside sources.”
Twitter is not on Google
The rebranding of Twitter to X has raised a lot of concerns, from users to co-founder Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey expressed that a rebranding wasn’t “essential” to making Twitter an all-in-one app.
“It’s definitely not essential, but you can make an argument that reconsideration is the best path forward. The Twitter brand carries a lot of baggage, but all that matters is the utility it provides, not the name,” wrote Dorsey in a response to the tweet.
Furthermore, a discussion on Reddit has raised the question over Musk’s idea to rebrand a worldwide known and unique Twitter into something like X.
“You can’t even search for Twitter on Google now; I mean, have you googled x? Half the results have nothing to do with Twitter. The first result is a movie from 2022 I’ve never heard of,” reads the discussion.
“How did he come up with this idiotic idea of renaming a worldwide known and unique brand into something like X? With zero identification, expression, individuality, or even uniqueness? Search on Reddit for X and let me know what you find,” wrote a Redditor, expressing his doubts about Musk’s other inventions like PayPal and Tesla because of this rebranding decision.