Spanish-language climate misinformation proliferates amid extreme weather events

A recent report by Media Matters delved into the proliferation of Spanish-language climate change conspiracy theories on platforms like TikTok, highlighting content that denies climate change.

Group Of Protestors With Placards And Megaphone On Demonstration March Against Climate Change

As extreme weather events continue to capture global attention, a surge in Spanish-language misinformation and disinformation related to climate change has emerged, posing challenges to accurate public understanding.

Researchers point to the rise in false information during media coverage of extreme weather occurrences and discussions about climate policies. A recent report by Media Matters highlighted the propagation of Spanish-language climate change conspiracy theories on platforms like TikTok, spotlighting the dissemination of content denying climate change and promoting the idea of it being a hoax.

While an established network of US-based English-language social media accounts propagating climate denialism narratives and opposing climate action exists, a comparable network is lacking in the Spanish-speaking realm. Instead, a network of Spanish-language social media accounts, primarily based in Spain and Latin America, has emerged, engaging with a broader right-wing agenda and heavily relying on translated right-wing content originating in the US.

Why does it matter?

The influence of misinformation is particularly pronounced among Latinos, who are more likely to rely on social media for information. This trend underscores the need for improved content moderation and awareness campaigns to counter the spread of climate misinformation among Spanish-speaking communities, particularly given the disproportionate impact of climate change on Latino populations in the United States and beyond.