Facebook Removed ‘False’ Label After Scientists Said Climate ‘Alarmist’ Fact Checkers Are Targeting Them

  • Date: 25/09/19
  • Chris White, Daily Caller

Facebook removed a false label on an editorial that expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of climate models after the scientists who authored the piece said the company relied on partisan activists to fact check their op-ed.

Image result for Facebook censor

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed on background the company removed the label. The decision comes shortly after scientists Caleb Rossiter and Patrick Michaels argued their point in a Sept. 10 letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They said in the letter that Facebook used a partisan fact-check group to defame them.

“These actions by Facebook constitute censorship of science and defamation of our scholarship,” the academics said in the letter, which the Daily Caller News Foundation obtained. “They appear to us to contradict Facebook’s stated role as a non-partisan site for the ex- change of opinion and information.”

Rossiter is a climate statistician and the executive director for CO2 Coalition, a Virginia-based group of 50 climate scientists who use research to explain why they believe people should not be alarmed by the rise in carbon dioxide. Michaels, meanwhile, is a climatologist and one of the group’s senior fellows.

They also argued Facebook’s reliance on a group called Climate Feedback to review the credibility of information they used in an Aug. 25 editorial at the Washington Examiner is a cudgel against free speech. Facebook used the group’s review to label Rossiter and Michaels’s points false.

The Washington Examiner is considering its own response to the fact check, Hugo Gurdon, the editor-in-chief at the paper, told the DCNF in an email. The DCNF has independently confirmed Facebook removed the label, though the big tech company has not yet explained why the false label was removed.

Rossiter and Michaels want an explanation in the meantime.

Pictured is a Facebook bcreenshot of a fact check of a Washington Examiner editorial by Patrick Michaels and Caleb Rossiter.

Pictured is a Facebook screenshot of a fact check of a Washington Examiner editorial by Patrick Michaels and Caleb Rossiter.

Climate Feedback’s review is “replete with errors and simple differences of opinion,” they argued in the letter to Zuckerberg. The editorial suggested a variety of serious issues in choice of climate data sets often lead researchers to believe global temperatures are rising more than is observed.

Rossiter and Michaels cited data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration among others to make their points. The information was not sufficient for Climate Feedback’s reviewers, who said in their Aug. 31 review that the duo used cherry-picked data and biased information to support their positions.

Rossiter and Michaels said Climate Feedback itself is a hyper-partisan entity.

They argued the group is funded by Eric Michelman, a wealthy climate activist who said in an interview in 2015 for Yes! Magazine that the science surrounding climate change is settled. He also said at the time that the time for debate is over.

Climate Feedback works in partnership with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which Facebook relies on for credible fact checks. Groups the IFCN partners with must abide by a strict set of principles to maintain the partnership, with one of the principles being a promise to be non-partisan.

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