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New report spells bad news for Elon Musk's rebranded X platform: 'Would be weird if he is encouraging [it]'

X's score makes for more concerning reading when compared to grades for other platforms.

X's score makes for more concerning reading when compared to grades for other platforms.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

As CEO of Tesla, one of the world's leading electric car brands, Elon Musk has helped take numerous dirty-fuel-powered vehicles off roads worldwide. However, it seems that another of his businesses isn't doing its part to prevent global heating.

Musk's X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, has been given a staggeringly low score in a report ranking technology brands like Meta, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and X for policies that prevent climate misinformation.

X was given just one point out of a possible 21 in a scorecard drawn up by the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) group, which features organizations including Stop Funding Heat, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Friends of the Earth.

Among the reasons for X's low score was its failure to meet the criteria set by the research group regarding climate misinformation policies, including if the website has content moderation to reduce climate misinformation and if misformation policies apply to paid and organic content. 

CAAD noted that Musk's acquisition of what was once Twitter has made several of the platform's policies unclear since there's not a lot of evidence to suggest what is and what isn't being enforced. 

Meanwhile, the report noted that climate denial content is "surging" on Musk's X platform since his takeover. 

"Not only does Twitter/X lack clear current policies that acknowledge climate misinformation or climate denial, the platform lacks proper public transparency," the report said. "Since Elon Musk's acquisition, content moderation has been deconstructed, and climate denial and hate speech have spiked."

X's score makes for more concerning reading when compared to grades for other platforms.

Meta, including Instagram and Facebook, scored eight, while TikTok was given nine points, and YouTube claimed six. Pinterest was the highest scoring platform with 12 points out of 21. 

"Remember when Musk was considered to be an environmentalist for pushing electric cars?" one Redditor commented on a Guardian article summarizing the report. 

"Musk would benefit if more people believed in climate change, as it would increase consumer demand for Tesla. Would be weird if he is encouraging misinformation," observed another.

Indeed, it does seem unusual that Musk would be so loose with climate misinformation standards, considering his Tesla brand would arguably benefit from encouraging users to be conscious of the impact of global heating. 

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average passenger car emits an estimated 4.6 metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide a year. 

Electric vehicles, including Musk's Teslas, produce zero tailpipe emissions, so their impact on the environment while out on the road is minimal compared to internal combustion engine machines. 

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