After “tackling” – some say disastrously for online speech – the topics of US elections and Covid by promoting content that is considered “authoritative” and suppressing, to various degrees, everything else, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are further narrowing the space for their users' free expression.
These enormous digital squares, the social platforms-turned-approved speech enforcers will now add climate change to the list of issues discussions about which are strictly controlled and censored, when information users post or share clashes with the giants' idea of what's true and what's false.
Media like Axios already have something akin to a pejorative for those who happen not to be on board the current climate change narrative – their stance is described as “climate denialism.”
And as the elites are gathering in Glasgow, Scotland for the UN-sponsored COP26 summit, tech giants who operate some of the biggest social media platforms on the planet are using the opportunity to “finally” fall in line and contribute with the best (or the worst, depending on your point of view) they have to offer – censorship, and manipulation of content visibility and reach.
You might have heard of the dystopian concept of “pre-crime” and now Twitter writes on the company blog that it is introducing something called “pre-bunk” – it will be a way for it to try to mould its users' opinion on the subject by inundating their explore tab, trending lists, and search results with content promoting climate change as a legitimate theory, that comes from “authoritative” sources.
Other than trying very hard to steer users in the desired direction, Twitter will (for now at least”) not actively censor what it sees as “climate change misinformation.”
Facebook also relies on whatever it decides is “authoritative climate information” to work towards the same goal, a post on its blog revealed. The giant set up something called the Climate Science Center in 2020, and is now starting to add “informational labels to some posts on climate change directing people to the Climate Science Center to find out more.”
Google and its YouTube platform went much further when they last month said that “climate deniers” would be demonetized.