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Pinterest cracks down on climate change misinformation

Photo and video-sharing social media platform Pinterest announced on Wednesday new guidelines prohibiting content containing climate change misinformation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The platform said it would remove user or advertiser posts that deny the "existence or impact of climate change," the Journal writes. The update will go into effect on Wednesday.

"For years, we've been working on our misinformation policy and defining what type of harmful content does not have a place on Pinterest," Sarah Bromma, Pinterest's head of policy, told the Journal. "Harmful misinformation does not. It is not additive to a positive inspiring experience on the platform."

Pinterest's goal is to target content that it says "misrepresents scientific data," as well as "false or misleading findings about public-safety emergencies including natural disasters," the Journal writes. The policy was developed alongside climate change experts, and will be enforced by automated systems and moderators. Users will also be allowed to flag content for review, as well, Bromma said.

Meanwhile, searches related to sustainability are "on the rise" on Pinterest, notes The New York Times; in the past year, "zero waste lifestyle" queries jumped 64 percent. 

Previously, Pinterest has blocked weight-loss ads, anti-vaccination content, and political ads, among other topics, the Times notes.

The company's decision arrives at a particularly ominous moment for global warming. Earlier this week, a United Nations report concluded the world is unlikely to meet its climate goals without a major and drastic drop in fossil fuel use globally.