back to article Using Facebook causes less eco damage than farting, figures show

Free-content advertising giant Facebook has released comprehensive data on its carbon emissions, revealing that a person who uses the giant website causes rather less damage to the planetary ecosystem by doing so than he or she can expect to cause by simply farting. According to the new Facebook data, each user who is active …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: --

      Should give you seconds thoughts about "follow"ing anyone.

    2. LarsG

      May not...

      It may not cause as much damage to the environment but it causes until damage to the brain, lowering IQ levels by up to 45%

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My friends don't wonder why I wouldn't want to listen to their flatulence mixed with adverts.

    1. Aaron Em

      Why not?

      I mean, it seems like a pretty obvious choice for somebody who's already trying to get you to buy their shit.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Facebook: better than farting"

    As a marketing slogan, it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi...

    1. mhenriday

      Re: "Facebook: better than farting"

      No, rather, «Facebook : more environmentally sustainable than farting» - «better» being a subjective judgement, with which, I for one, would beg to disagree. Not sure whether that makes me a «hippy» or an «anti-hippy» in Lewis' view.....


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not exclusive

    I have been known to fart while using the internet. Does that make me doubly evil? I don't light them, either.

    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: Not exclusive

      These numbers are meaningless without measuring the farts emitted while using Facebook.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    The iPhone 5 is the solution

    Apparently the iPhone5 will have FB integrated and it can also include the infamous "farting apps".

    Therefore dear Watson:

    A FB user who fires up the farting app whilst doing FB stuff on his iPhone5 will actually be doing the environment a favour by only producing virtual flatulence.

  6. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Get up to date, Register!

    For quite some time now it has been obvious that CO2 concentration has NO detectable effect on the world's climate, and, if anything, it tends to follow temperature rather than lead it.

    The last 15 years of flat/dropping temperatures while CO2 concentration goes up should make this clear to everyone. So perhaps now is the time to start mentioning this...?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes but

    farting is much more satisfying than being poked to play a cupcake game by some dickhead that you didn't get along with at school

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Logically impossible...

    unless using Facebook prevents you from farting.

  9. ritey

    But farting is fart more enjoyable.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind methane...

    We all know about methane being a greenhouse gas, but what about H2S? Some people seem to produce a lot more of the latter than the former... is being eggy more eco-friendly?

  11. madick

    So to be really green ...

    Does this mean that if one wants to be really eco friendly, one should always ignite one's flatulence immediately after emission?

    Would "Dragon's Den" be interested in funding a range of green underwear, where each garment contains a built-in igniter?

    And/or, since cows generate more methane than humans, how about a device that clips on to a cow's tail that automatically ignites the animal's farts?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: So to be really green ...

      I can see it now, after that fashionable dinner party the in-thing is to stan-up bend over and flame-off.

      Works for me!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So to be really green ...

      " how about a device that clips on to a cow's tail that automatically ignites the animal's farts?"

      Ooooh, Rocket Cows!

  12. Bodestone

    And do they factor..

    The fact that excessive fb users (i.e. those that sit in front of the computer all day eating junk food and getting no excercise) are likely to fart more?

  13. umacf24

    But have you allowed for the shorter half-life?

    Methane: ~10 years, by oxidation

    CO2: ~100's of years, by deep ocean circulation

    1. Bodestone

      Re: But have you allowed for the shorter half-life?

      Why? It's only the gasses recently released into the atmosphere that causes the issues.

      How can CO2 re-released from oceanic absorption be classed as man made emissions?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Stop !

        Stop trying to bring intelligent arguments into the climate debate - you're messing up the zealot message !

  14. TeeCee Gold badge

    Yes, but.

    You have no choice over whether or not to fart.

    Nobody needs Facebook, so any number greater than zero is an avoidable and entirely unnecessary contribution to CO2 emissions. Presumably the Greenpeace hippies are all also Facebook addicts, which prevents them pointing out this rather obvious snag in their encomium to Facebook.

    1. Usually Right or Wrong

      Re: Yes, but.

      But I need Facebook, I tend to fart more than the average beer and curry male, so need to carbon offset by NOT having a Facebook account.

      If Facebook is closed down (or goes under) I already offset against Twatter, so would end up having to ignite the damn things to compensate.

  15. Fading Silver badge

    No increase in concentration

    Given there is no evidence of a build up of methane in the atmosphere I call BS on their CO2 equivalence calculations. Without an increase in the atmosphere there isn't any extra GHG to stop IR from escaping.

    Just one more thing - surely farts are "carbon neutral" unless you eat coal and drink petrol?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: No increase in concentration

      surely farts are "carbon neutral" unless you eat coal and drink petrol?

      If that were what most people who use the phrase mean by "carbon neutral", then everything we do here on Earth would be "carbon neutral", unless someone has a nifty fusion reaction producing new carbon atoms in their back yard.

      Obviously we don't emit more carbon atoms than we consume. So the question of "carbon neutrality" (regardless of whether it's a useful concept) is one of the form the carbon inputs and outputs are in - typically what molecules contain those carbon atoms, and where those molecules go when they're emitted.

      As the article makes clear, the (admittedly silly) "fart argument" is based on our emitting methane. Since we don't absorb as much methane as we emit, we must be producing it by liberating carbon from other sources, which (the argument implies) are not greenhouse gasses. (Incidentally, this means the argument about our personal CO2 emissions in the article is bunk; we're breaking some carbon atoms off glucose molecules and whacking them onto a couple of oxygen atoms, then exhaling the resulting GHG.)

      "Carbon neutral" is a misnomer. The climate-warming carbon argument (whether you buy it or not) is that converting heavier carbon-based molecules into lighter GHG ones like CO2 and CH4 is a climactic temperature pump. Carbon itself remains neutral; it's all about carbon compounds.

  16. Andrew Jones 2

    I get fed up with these sort of press releases.....

    Unless Facebook have power stations specifically powering them - then it is simply not possible with any degree of certainty at all to state categorically where your energy comes from.

    Electricity follows the path of least resistance - thus unless you have a direct connection to a power station - then your electricity in general comes from the closest power generation facility.

    It does my nut in when people claim they are using "green energy" from wind farms and the like - they aren't - they are paying a premium to their electricity supplier in order to further fund R&D into renewable energy - but the actual energy flowing into their property is coming from the National Grid - and therefore from wherever the nearest power station is.

    1. Steve Knox

      Cause and Effect

      It does my nut in when people claim they are using "green energy" from wind farms and the like - they aren't - they are paying a premium to their electricity supplier in order to further fund R&D into renewable energy - but the actual energy flowing into their property is coming from the National Grid - and therefore from wherever the nearest power station is.

      No, they're not actually receiving and using "green" power. But they are paying green energy suppliers for the electricity. Meanwhile (let's assume their electricity actually came from a coal-based plant), the coal-based plant has given them electricity without being paid (by them, anyway) for it. So they actually lose some on that deal. Someone else, who didn't choose a green supplier but happens to live close to one, is paying the "dirty" supplier but getting "green" energy.

      In this scenario, who is actually responsible for the pollution caused by the "dirty" supplier? The individual who received (through no fault of their own) that electricity or the individual who paid the supplier to generate it? Conversely, who gets credit for the renewable energy, those who happened to receive it because of the laws of physics and the layout of the grid, or those who funded the research and generation?

  17. Mike Flugennock

    hey, waitaminnit...

    I thought using Facebook was pretty much the same as farting.

  18. LinkOfHyrule

    I visit the Register website a lot these days - partly because I am a big fan and partly because my life is really pitiful and pathetic and I am quite addicted to checking my up/down votes (get voting people!).

    How many farts worth of browsing do you lot think I do? I'd quite like to know just in case farting/consumer carbon usage is ever taxed in the future as this kind of information may affect a future mortgage application or NI contributions for all we know!

  19. Pastafarian

    Tom Sharp quote

    "I fart in bed. I like to fart in bed, it is the trumpet call of the antropoid ape".

    If I set light to these I'd set the bed on fire. What we need is an anal catalytic converter.

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Tom Sharp quote

      An analytic converter?

  20. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Have they run this by the bean counters?

    I don't use Facebook, but on the other hand. ...

  21. Bucky 2

    But I thought...

    I thought that using Facebook was something that CATALIZED farting, not INHIBITED farting.

  22. Mr Young
    Thumb Up


    If Facebook connected a methane gas powered generator to the required amount of farting and burping cows in a field how many users per cow would that be?

  23. heyrick Silver badge


    ...this does not account for the environmental damage caused by filling your pants as a result of losing the will to live, then the subsequent death, and however long it takes for somebody to notice (all the while your computer not being on standby and the lights still on).


    On a more serious note: So using my computer to talk to my router to talk to the phone exchange to talk to [tracert] twelve bits of kit (possibly including satellites, uplinks, downlinks, and god only knows what) to talk to facebook, and back, numerous times for each page fetch... less "damaging" than a single fart?

  24. Martin Budden Bronze badge

    ignition source?

    It's all very well to say that burning fart methane to CO2 reduces the greenhouse effect, but you've failed to take into account the ignition source: burning a fart involves *two* flames, one from a match or cigarette lighter (or firework if you live in Darwin) and one ex-anus. You need to factor in the greenhouse impact of producing, transporting and burning the ignition source.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: ignition source?

      Use a spark from electricity generated by a wind turbine...

  25. DanceMan

    That's me done then

    Not green here -- not on Facebook, drink a lot of coffee, and at my age, fart more than I used to.

    Neverthless, not intending to employ the icon.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...people are using Facebook in ADDITION to farting, not INSTEAD of. Therefore Facebook users are KILLING THE PLANET (my emphasis - for hysteria purposes) twice as fast as those who fart only.

  27. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I propose a new unit of pollution : the Facebook Fart

    1 FF = 0.269g of CO2 annual

    Now let's see how we can use that :)

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