YouTube Is Fighting Back Against Climate Misinformation

YouTube Is Fighting Back Against Climate Misinformation, by Zahra Hirji at Buzzfeed (very PC).

YouTube is now adding fact checks to videos that question climate change, BuzzFeed News has confirmed, as a part of its ongoing effort to combat the rampant misinformation and conspiratorial fodder on its platform.

On July 9, the company added a blurb of text underneath some videos about climate change, which provided a scientifically accurate explainer. The text comes from the Wikipedia entry for global warming and states that “multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.”

This new feature follows YouTube’s announcement in March that it would place descriptions from Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica next to videos on topics that spur conspiracy theories, such as the moon landing and the Oklahoma City bombing. In doing the same for climate videos, the company seems to be wading into more fraught and complex intellectual territory. …

YouTube has not disclosed the full list of topics it is targeting. But a Wikipedia post to its administrators in mid-July offers some clues, listing seven topics the company was helping clarify: global warming, Dulce Base, Lilla Saltsjöbadsavtalet, the 1980 Camarate air crash, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Kecksburg UFO incident, and the MMR vaccine. …

Google, which owns YouTube, has struggled to excise misinformation from its platforms. In November 2017, it tried a feature that fact-checked descriptions of newspapers and other items that appear in search results but suspended it in January after some mistakes triggered complaints. …

Climate scientist Michael Mann likened YouTube’s new messaging to the warning label on a pack of cigarettes: “Warning — this video may or may not be promoting actual facts about climate change.” …

YouTube says the goal of its policy is to give users easy access to more context and information on topics prone to misinformation, such as climate change. And in the coming months, more and more videos will be getting these labels.

There is a mistake in all the climate models, which has left a trail of destruction that is clearly visible in climate science literature — such as the latest assessment report (AR5) from the IPCC. Some climate skepticism is hardly misinformation. Indeed, the misinformation will soon be seen to have been coming from Google, Buzzfeed, Wikipedia and all the rest of the PC establishment who are rather fond of the power that the carbon dioxide theory of global warming gives to them and to big government. They never checked the theory, or exposed it to the scrutiny or due diligence one would expect. And they ignored the mountains of contrary empirical evidence. Stay tuned, book coming along nicely.

In the meantime, the growing levels of censorship and its increasingly overt nature are a dire threat to our society and to the Enlightenment.