Facebook, other tech giants censor inconvenient facts about climate change



The online world has become a free-speech battleground. Tech platforms have sided with illiberal regimes to censor posts while flagging “misinformation” in free countries. We all share a legitimate interest in avoiding outright falsehoods, but much censorship today — whether at dictators’ behest or in the name of eradicating “misinformation” — ultimately is about restricting discourse to a narrow corridor of the politically acceptable. That makes it harder to identify smart policies.

This is especially troubling for important issues like climate change. Global warming is real and man-made. However, social-media giants — Facebook in particular — are going far beyond censoring people for denying its existence.

Facebook monitors what people say about climate change in 100 countries and uses third-party fact-checkers to identify misinformation for flagging or removal.

Here’s something Facebook’s censors deemed unacceptable: I wrote a comment using the latest peer-reviewed research from the medical journal Lancet on deaths caused by heat and cold. The paper is the first to show that globally, every year, half a million people die because temperatures are too hot, while 4.5 million people die because it is too cold. In other words, nine times more people die from the cold than the heat.

snow storm by Andre Furtado is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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