Facebook launches climate science info center amid fake news criticism

The tool will be rolled out in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and eventually to other countries. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 September 2020

Facebook launches climate science info center amid fake news criticism

  • Facebook said the project is modeled on its COVID-19 Information Center, and launched a similar feature last month on voting
  • It said articles from high-quality publishers and other sources on climate science news will also be available at the center

BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook on Tuesday launched a climate science information center to elevate credible sources on climate change, as critics question its role in the spread of misinformation on the issue.
Facebook said the project is modeled on its COVID-19 Information Center, and launched a similar feature last month on voting in preparation for US elections in November.
The tool will be rolled out in the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and eventually to other countries.
“The Climate Science Information Center is a dedicated space on Facebook with factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations and actionable steps people can take in their everyday lives to combat climate change,” the company said in a post.
It said articles from high-quality publishers and other sources on climate science news will also be available at the center.
Facebook has faced allegations that it permits false claims around climate change through a policy that exempts opinion articles from its external fact-checking system.
It has said that it prioritizes handling of misinformation that poses an immediate threat of harm, like bogus coronavirus cures or hate speech that could incite violence.
Facebook’s global policy chief Nick Clegg said the company would continue exempting false claims about climate change posted by politicians, although these are often among the most popular content on the platform.
“No social media company has ever tried to do so for the simple reason that political speeches always are characterised by exaggerations, selected uses of statistics, and exaggerated claims of virtues from one candidate and vices of others,” Clegg told reporters.
The company has not measured the effectiveness of its coronavirus information center in countering false narratives about the pandemic, although product chief Chris Cox said it has seen 600 million people clicking on the tool, which executives considered a success.
Facebook also confirmed that its global operations will achieve net zero carbon emissions and be 100% supported by renewable energy this year.


Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

Updated 20 October 2020

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

  • Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets
  • Shoueiry founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region

RIYADH: Publicis Groupe MEA today announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer, Publicis Communications, UAE and Lower Gulf. Dimachkie is a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The company has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as chief digital officer, Publicis Communications, Middle East from Dec. 1. Dimachkie’s decision to leave comes after 33 years with the company. He will leave his current position on Dec. 31 and continue to act in a consultative capacity until June 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets including the US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Raja Trad, executive chairman at Publicis Groupe MEA said: “I respect Kamal’s decision. He has been a friend and a colleague for over three decades, and not just I but the entire Publicis Groupe family will miss him. His tenure at the Groupe has been characterized by a clear commitment to values that are central to our philosophy. Kamal’s adept leadership propelled the agency to new heights — we won more than 250 accolades and added numerous international and local clients to our roster. I want to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Groupe and wish him all the best for his professional future.”

Dimachkie added: “Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe have been my life for the past 33 years, and I am proud to have been a part of a glorious journey during which I have had the opportunity to serve the company in different roles in six countries, to have contributed to numerous clients and raised the bar internally and within the industry. Part of this has been the joy of working with a wonderful team and leadership, whom I have partnered with, learnt from and shall forever call my friends and brothers in arms. I am grateful to have lived the glory days of advertising with one of the best agencies in the world and to have worked with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I look forward to working with Samer on the upcoming transition and wish him success in his new role.”

Shoueiry, who will take on Dimachkie’s role, has over 21 years of experience across business, design and innovation. He has consistently delivered a robust performance in Publicis’ Experience Design and Experience Strategy, founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Trad said: “Samer has a record of leadership and value creation, deep experience in generating groundbreaking brand experiences, as well as a focus on strategic design, innovation excellence and a strong technological footing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him to drive our digital transformation in the region and support the spread of innovation through investments in our people, technology, platforms and tools. Together, we will ensure that we continue to move our business forward in the Connected Age through a data-led, digital-first approach.”

Shoueiry further added: “Kamal has built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our team and expanding our scope of work. The current climate has accelerated digital transformation globally, and we are looking at a future where online and offline coexist to augment consumer experience in an interconnected brand universe. E-commerce is a necessity, digital equities are your flagship stores, search and social your new outdoor. With this new beginning, I will focus on further strengthening our creative strategy-to-results development to offer the best consumer-centric experiences and build brand value.”