Concerns are growing about the polarization of the climate change debate. Despite broad consensus among scientists that climate change is both occurring and anthropogenic, a vocal movement expresses skepticism about the validity of the scientific consensus. In this data memo, we analyze the climate change dialogue and news shared over Twitter and Facebook. We find that (1) most of the content and commentary shared on both platforms espouses the scientific consensus; (2) the greatest share of content on Twitter (33%) and Facebook (49%) comes from professional news sources; (3) businesses drive a lot of the conversation on Twitter, while civil society content gets more traction on Facebook; (4) audiovisual content like YouTube videos plays an important part in polarizing and conspiracy content; (5) on Facebook, accounts promoting skepticism seem significantly less integrated with the broader community than consensus accounts; and (6) there is little evidence of automated tweeting.
Ana Grouverman, Bence Kollanyi, Phil Howard, Vlad Barash, and Thomas Lederer. “Climate Change Consensus and Skepticism: Mapping Climate Change Dialogue on Twitter and Facebook.” Data Memo 2018.6. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda. demtech.oii.ox.ac.uk