How Facebook and YouTube Silence Climate Science

UPDATE Friday 26th 2019 – It appears that after approx. […]

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Climate State

Date Posted:

July 21, 2019

UPDATE Friday 26th 2019 – It appears that after approx. 8 days with almost no traffic, for the moment now, posts views are back to regular levels.

YouTube demonetized our channel, keeps promoting climate denial and fake news, and now Facebook cut our posts traffic. 

TIMELINE

  • January 2017 YouTube terminates the Climate State channel (but was reversed).
  • February 2017 YouTube demonetized the Climate State channel for a week, resulting in about six weeks of no monetization.
  • March 2017 YouTube terminates our channel Climate Progress World.
  • July 2018 YouTube around this date, changed how they recommend our extreme weather videos. We got millions of views during the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, one video was even trending. In 2017 we got similar results with Hurricane Irma. However, since 2018 our videos covering storms or weather events usually no longer are shown in YouTube’s search, essentially banning our videos. Our videos are part of a small fraction of weather coverage mentioning climate change connections. Our weather videos usually get 1,500 – 5000 views, before 2018 it was like 10,000 – 700,000 views.
  • January 2019 YouTube demonetizes the Climate State channel citing reuse policy.
  • July 2019 Facebook cuts our posts views to almost zero.

YOUTUBE

In 2012 we created two YouTube channels, with the main scope to share climate science videos. At the time climate denial was more rampant than today, climate science videos were either overlooked, or simply outnumbered by the amount of climate denial videos.

Years past, I begun making simple movies with Windows Movie Maker, covering extreme weather events from around the world, or highlighted a climate science topic. Just when I started to get more into video editing YouTube begun to change their guidelines, in a way detrimental for the spread of science.

Around 2015 the channel Climate Progress World had about 4K followers, the most watched video was Global Warming, What You Need to Know with Tom Brokav, possibly one of the most watched climate change films until maybe 2017. The video was always the top recommendation by YouTube when you searched for the phrase ‘Global Warming’, viewed by 1.5M people.

To better understand what steps YouTube has taken to promote mainstream channels, and discard the channels which made them big in the first place watch this video.

Some are now more equal than others for YouTube.

Over the years there were several attempts to take down videos, people filed copyright strikes, using public gmail accounts. There were also attempts to generate very noticeable video view manipulations for unimportant, old videos.

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In 2017, YouTube terminated the Climate Progress World channel, citing spam, scams, and deceptive content violations. In January 2019 YouTube demonetized our other channel, citing newly introduced, retroactive enforced reuse policy guidelines. YouTube cites content on our channel that doesn’t provide significant original commentary, or educational value.

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Effectively, this means that climate science lectures we shared over the years, are now off-limits to us, even if we were asked to share them, or obtained written permissions. Many of these videos have gotten only marginal views on the channels they were first published, until Climate State exposed videos to a larger audience.

If you look-up climate change videos, it will not take long until YouTube recommends climate denier/fake news videos to you. YouTube’s priorities are best captured when you browse the YouTube trending section, largely based on music, gaming, news, and movies – basically entertainment, ‘Panem et circenses‘.

FACEBOOK

Starting on 17th July 2019, Facebook cut the exposure to our page posts to almost zero. A main traffic source for our videos, and climatestate.com has always come from Facebook. It is unclear how this drastic drop in posts views can happen without targeted intervention from Facebook staff.

They don’t even try to hide the decline!
Starting July 17th Facebook censored/banned/blocked climate change coverage, no longer shows Climate State page followers our posts.

In April 2019 Facebook rolled out changes for their news feed, citing efforts to fight the spread of misinformation. However, part of this new Facebook initiative includes hiring known climate deniers.

Think Progress: Facebook’s fact-checking effort announced last week that it was teaming up with CheckYourFact.com — an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller, which has published misinformation about climate science for years, was co-founded by the science-denying Fox News host Tucker Carlson and is backed by major conservative donors, including Charles and David Koch, the billionaire fossil fuel barons who are the single biggest funders of climate science misinformation.

While the sudden drop of posts exposure on Facebook, renders our years old page with close to 6K followers basically useless, it still might turn out that it may be due to a human, or a machine error. However, it is hard to imagine how this could possibly happen, without gross incompetence, or deliberate intend.

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About the Author: Climate State

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Climate State covers the broad spectrum of climate change, and the solutions, since around 2011 with the focus on the sciences. Views expressed on this site or on social media are not necessarily the views by Climate State – we endorse data, facts, empirical evidence.

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