In a report released Thursday, London think tank InfluenceMap accuses Facebook of letting several oil industry giants massively run ads to promote fossil fuels as a solution to the climate crisis.
25 companies in the oil and fossil industry would have spent nine and a half million dollars in 2020 to broadcast their ads on the social network, reports
The ExxonMobil group alone would have spent five million euros.
According to InfluenceMap, this American company has used Facebook in particular to promote the use of oil, presented as affordable, reliable and important so that America does not depend on other countries for its energy supply.
Our latest report reveals how @Facebook is being used by the oil and gas sector to spread pro-fossil fuel messages.
The ads were viewed hundreds of millions of times in one year.
Read the full report here: https://t.co/SlceMf1C0l pic.twitter.com/PE74R0mPMr
- InfluenceMap (@InfluenceMap) August 6, 2021
"The oil industry uses Facebook strategically"
In total, InfluenceMap claims to have spotted nearly 6,000 false advertisements devoted to fossil fuels on Facebook in 2020. They would have been viewed more than 431 million times and Facebook would have facilitated their distribution, by not respecting its own rules to end advertising erroneous, according to the report. "Despite Facebook's public commitment to the climate, they allow their platform to be used to disseminate propaganda in favor of fossil fuels," said the think tank.
The think tank also recalled in its report the political role of these Facebook ads.
An increase in spending on this subject was thus noticed just after the announcement in July 2020 by Joe Biden of a financing plan promoting clean energies.
“This suggests that the oil industry is using Facebook strategically and for political purposes,” he wrote.
However, InfluenceMap specifies that the social network has removed certain advertisements disseminating false information or those which had not indicated that they concerned environmental policies.
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