These publications are behind 69% of the lies about climate change that are spread on the Internet.
These "climate deniers" are a global phenomenon, politically motivated, denying reality and growing thanks to some unscrupulous means. Photo: Pexels
LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño
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The science behind climate change is undeniable. This phenomenon, which is warming our planet, is a scientific reality that we must face among all of us to avoid the suffering of future generations. However, there are people who refuse to accept that climate change exists. These "climate deniers" are a global phenomenon, politically motivated, that denies reality and that grows thanks to some unscrupulous means.
The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit organization dedicated to "disrupting the architecture of hate and misinformation online" recently published a report called "The Toxic Ten." In it, they determined that 10 "media" are responsible for 69% of online interactions that deny climate change on Facebook .
Several of these publications have ties to oil companies and two of them have ties to the Russian government. Between them, they add approximately 186 million followers.
These ten publications are:
Breitbart is a disinformation site that has nearly 8.6 million followers on social media, with 5.3 million on Facebook. It has been described as a "platform of the alt-right."
The Western Journal
This site was founded by political activist Floyd Brown who once claimed that Obama "is Muslim and hates Christians." He has 34 million followers on various social networks. The site is on Google News and has Google Ads advertising.
Based in Florida, this site has spread fake news about the US elections, the coronavirus, and climate change. It has 8.4 million followers, of which 4.26 million come from Facebook. Newsmax promotes conspiracy theories, such as the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.
Townhall Media is a publication of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative foundation that consistently receives funding from the fossil fuel industry, specifically ExxonMobil. Townhall Media has 6.2 million followers on networks, 5.3 million of them come from Facebook.
Media Research Center
This group prides itself on being the guardian of "leftist bias in the media and popular culture." They have 12 million followers on social media, with 11.7 million followers on Facebook. Throughout their history, they have received donations from Republican senators and Exxon Mobil.
The Washington Times
This newspaper is sold as "a reliable counterweight to the mainstream media." Throughout its history, it has supported conspiracy theories about Covid and Obama. The Washington Times has 1.3 million followers, of which 900,000 come from Facebook.
The Federalist Papers
This publication has communicated misinformation about the coronavirus, climate change and the elections in the United States . Sometimes it publishes content from The Western Journal and other disinformation sites. It has 2.3 million followers, most of them coming from Facebook.
The Daily Wire
This is the most popular post on Facebook. According to the Center for Countering Digital Hate, it receives more interactions than The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, and CNN combined. Founded by America's most popular right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro and fracking billionaire Farris Wilkes, The Daily Wire spreads all manner of conspiracy theories. The publication has 27 million followers on networks, of which 11 million come from Facebook.
Russian State Media
Russia Today is publicly funded using the budget of the Russian Federation. With more than 82 million followers (52 million on Facebook), Russia Today is notorious for leading various disinformation campaigns. These include campaigns against American democracy, against the vaccine, and those that spread the idea of "climate scaremongering."