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Unmasking ‘New Denial’: A Surge of Climate Disinformation Infects YouTube, Says Watchdog

Title: The Rising Tide of Climate Misinformation: YouTube’s New Denial The digital era has made information more accessible than ever before, however, this easy access to data doesn’t always translate into accurate communication and understanding. A growing concern is the increasingly prominent issue of climate misinformation, mainly amplified on platforms like YouTube. A new form of climate denial: the ‘New Denial’ is gaining worrying traction. According to a report by the watchdog Avaaz, YouTube, one of the largest online platforms globally, is experiencing a deluge of climate misinformation. These largely inaccurate narratives do not so much deny climate change as a whole, but distort its realities, often downplaying its severity or its anthropogenic causes. Welcome to the era of ‘New Denial,’ a sophisticated wave of misinformation that threatens to disrupt global efforts to combat climate change. Unlike traditional denial, which outright refutes the existence of global warming, ‘New Denial’ infiltrates public discourse more subtly. Its proponents accept that climate change is happening, but they distort the facts to fit their narrative, claiming that it’s not as impactful as scientists suggest, or arguing that it’s simply a natural and not a man-made phenomenon. YouTube, with its massive user base, offers fertile ground for such misinformation to proliferate. These misleading videos often promote doubtful ‘scientists’ and unchecked claims, undermining the consensus among researchers globally. Avaaz’s report highlights the scale and impact of this problem. Unverified videos from sources promoting climate misinformation have gained millions of views on YouTube, shared among users who may not be aware of their dubious origins, thus fostering a distorted narrative around climate change. This ‘New Denial’ becomes more problematic when YouTube’s recommendation algorithm comes into play. The algorithm often suggests similar content to what a user has been watching, thereby creating a feedback loop that amplifies these misleading videos further, propagating climate denial narratives and potentially leading users to fall into an information echo-chamber. While the easy spreading of misinformation is indeed alarming, it also underscores the incredible responsibility that platforms like YouTube have. Tech giants need to do a better job at managing and minimizing harmful misinformation. The struggle against misinformation on climate change becomes paramount in an era where public opinion increasingly influences policy-making. A distorted understanding can potentially hamper global efforts to address the issue promptly and effectively. As such, it is crucial to uphold the truth about climate change in public discourse, ensuring open, accurate, and fair dialogue around this pressing global issue. In conclusion

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