Academic journalism site The Conversation has taken a hard line on climate deniers, with editor and executive director Misha Ketchell banning climate deniers from commenting on the site, saying their views are “dangerous”.
In a post he penned on the site today, Ketchell says, “Once upon a time, we might have viewed climate sceptics as merely frustrating. We relied on other commenters and authors to rebut skeptics and deniers, which often lead to endless back and forth.
“But it’s 2019, and now we know better. Climate change deniers, and those shamelessly peddling pseudoscience and misinformation, are perpetuating ideas that will ultimately destroy the planet. As a publisher, giving them a voice on our site contributes to a stalled public discourse.
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“That’s why we’re implementing a zero-tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will we be removing their comments, we’ll be locking their accounts.”
Ketchell says that while The Conversation believes dialogue is integral to sharing knowledge, those who are fixated on dodgy ideas in the face of decades of peer-reviewed science are nothing but dangerous.
“It is counter productive to present the evidence and then immediately undermine it by giving space to trolls. The hopeless debates between those with evidence and those who fabricate simply stalls action,” Ketchell says.
He then places a call to action on readers that if they see misinformation in the comments section of the website to not engage, but report it.
“Dob them in and help us create a space where they don’t derail the conversation,” he says.
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