On July 1, an array of political activists asked Facebook to censor organizations such as the CO2 Coalition for “climate misinformation.” Now, Caleb Rossiter, executive director of the C02 Coalition, whose members include prominent scientists, explains the history behind the letter and the harassment of the coalition that began in September 2019.
But what actually does censoring on Facebook mean? If content is found to be “false,” says Facebook:
“First, that content’s distribution is reduced. It will appear lower in News Feed, and will appear with a warning. If people try to share the content, they will be notified of the additional reporting. . . . Pages and domains that repeatedly share or publish content which is rated ‘False’ . . . . will see their distribution reduced as the number of offenses increases. Their ability to monetize and advertise will be removed after repeated offenses.”
So how did this get started? On Real Clear Energy, Rossiter explains:
“The answer is found in the work of a Silicon Valley computer entrepreneur named Eric Michelman, who became fabulously wealthy creating a modification of the computer mouse. For more than a decade now, Michelman has devoted his wealth to squelching media debate on climate change—a successful dry run for the cancel culture that we see engulfing many other issues today.
“In 2016, Michelman was the founding and lead funder of a group called Climate Feedback, whose purpose is to “fact-check” and label as “false” any and all deviant thoughts about fossil-fueled climate catastrophe. The group has been certified as an unbiased source on climate issues by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which was founded by the Tampa Bay Times and operates the left-leaning PolitiFact. At some point, Facebook turned its censorship over turned its censorship oversight over to the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network.”
So, Climate Feedback is objective? No, says Rossiter.
“Climate Feedback is biased, sloppy, and often just flat wrong. For example, in its “fact-checks,” the group blatantly contradicts the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s finding that there has been no statistically significant increase in rates of sea-level rise, hurricanes, droughts, and floods during the carbon emissions era that began with the dramatic industrialization after World War II.
“Climate Feedback is Michelman’s third major attempt at promoting climate alarmism and silencing opposing views.”
“I’m all for debating with Climate Feedback. For 15 years as a professor at American University, I invited to my classes on climate statistics and mathematical modeling many of the groups whose leaders signed the recent letter to Facebook calling for us to be banned. But there was no response because the cancel culture doesn’t believe in debate.” (Rossiter taught statistics, mathematics, and U. S. policy toward Africa.)
Read more about the July 1 letter to Facebook from political activists.