We’re banning misinformation & conspiracy theories!!” Says a Company Citing Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories

If there is one irrefutable hallmark of the extreme far-left political community in the U.S., it is their seemingly endless propensity to psychologically project their beliefs, attitudes, and actions onto opponents as accusations of what their opponents are. I’ve covered this topic before, and I prominently mentioned the projection angle near at the top of my April 26 dissection of Frontline’s latest “Big Oil” program. At the top of my May 2nd Frontline follow-up post, I further emphasized the irony of wacko Department of Homeland Security “disinformation reduction” efforts coming from people who should really look in the mirror* about where actual disinformation is found. (* thankfully, one DHS person now has more free time to do so)

To illustrate just how insidiously pervasive the idiotic problem of the enviro-left projecting their own disinformation onto others, let’s have a look at one other news item that occurred back in early April, namely how the growing numbers of inexplicable calls to ‘protect democracy’ by jailing violators and enacting more restrictions on free speech — A.k.a. “restricting disinformation” — coalesced in a rather prominent form via an Atlantic magazine conference consisting of speakers utterly lacking in self-awareness even as they were inconveniently and quite ironically called out on their own appearance of trafficking in disinformation.

The irony about the Atlantic‘s disinformation doesn’t stop there, it dates all the way back to 1998, regarding assertions that the “reposition global warming” leaked memos were proof of a disinformation campaign, despite the fact that they were actually a never-implemented, rejected memo set. This problem back then and right up to the present time prompts two critical questions:

What constitutes “disinformation”? Who are the “trusted sources” declaring it as such? Look no farther for another of the latest wave of repetitions to ‘suppress disinformation’ than the news announcement in early April from the Pinterest social media company regarding its rollout of “a new climate misinformation policy to keep false and misleading claims around climate change off the platform.”

Loyal readers of GelbspanFiles can probably already guess which particular “trusted sources” cliff Pinterest has sailed off.

Let’s see how they’ve apparently done that, by first having a look (screencapture for posterity) at their new ‘climate misinformation’ guidelines:

Pinterest isn’t a place for misinformation, disinformation, mal-information or the individuals or groups spreading or creating it. We remove or limit distribution of false or misleading content that may harm Pinners’ or the public’s well-being, safety or trust, including:
… • Conspiracy theories, including about climate change or civic participation
• Content that originates from disinformation campaigns, including about climate change or civic participation

Conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns as defined and substantiated by whom?

The answer to that is arguably partly disinformation, or at least minimally incomplete information. Pinterest cites, according to its April 6 announcement, the “Climate Disinformation Coalition” and “the Conscious Advertising Network,” and while they provide a link to the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), they do not for whoever the Climate Disinformation Coalition (CDC) is, which has no easily-found specific internet presence. The most I’ve found so far on the CDC are incidental mentions of them. One is a September 2021 Friends of the Earth criticism of ‘disinformation that Facebook permits,’ mentioning “Michael Khoo, Friends of the Earth co-chair of the Climate Disinformation Coalition,” but with no link to any CDC-dedicated webpage (it does have a swing at “known liars” – hold that thought until the last paragraph here). Another page is this March 2022 one by the Global Center for Climate Justice which again mentions the CDC in passing without any link straight to them, but somehow knows that

The Coalition recommends Dr. John Cook’s Debunking Handbook as a must-read, incorporating the latest in psychology and sociology to inform efforts to combat disinformation. … Another key resource for understanding the scope and breadth of climate disinformation comes from academic Stephen Lewandowsky in his overview of climate disinformation …

That John Cook (no relation to me), the man who essentially owes his PhD Philosophy degree to Naomi Oreskes, and his notion (also seen here) that fossil fuel industry-led ‘disinformation campaigns’ are proven to exist by the (worthless) “reposition global warming” memos. The same John Cook who is the proprietor of the disingenuously-named (disinformingly-named?) “Skeptical Science” website which harbors no actual objectively skeptical viewpoints about the idea of catastrophic man-caused global warming, but which has been caught more than once deleting material from people who are skeptical about his views. Then there are his ‘other problems‘ that would prompt most any sensible person to put quite some distance between themselves and him.

And that Stephen Lewandowsky, a person I covered in my 2012 WUWT guest post as being among a group of ‘skeptic-trashing sociologists’ who are directly or a degree or two separated from Ross Gelbspan’s unsupportable accusation about industry-paid/corrupted skeptic climate scientists. I covered that problem two years later in further depth here at GelbspanFiles where the list also included Robert Brulle and Riley Dunlap, both of whom the above-mentioned Global Center for Climate Justice comically named as ‘experts’ on the ‘climate disinformation’ topic.

And there’s more that doesn’t bolster the Global Center for Climate Justice piece. They recommend John Cook and Stephen Lewandowsky as though they’re unconnected to each other, which could be construed as a small bit of disinformation. Actually, they’re co-authors of “The Consensus Handbook,” which is arguably disinformation in its title alone, since science conclusions are not validated by a show of hands and science is not done by consensus. But guess what is seen on page 18 of their joint authorship? They both dutifully regurgitate disinformation about ye olde “reposition global warming” memos. Who’s their source for their #15 footnote about it? Naomi Oreskes’ 2010 Book chapter where she disinforms about the memos, which I’ve detailed many times at GelbspanFiles, including my dissection of the “Oreskes, Brulle et al. Friends of the Court briefs.”

Meanwhile, regarding Pinterest’s reliance on the Conscious Advertising Network as a source to tell them what constitutes ‘disinformation,’ among CAN’s pile of manifestos is a PDF page titled “Misinformation” in which they disclose that two of their sources are the NewsGuard organization and …… wait for it …… Desmogblog.

Let’s first start with NewsGuard. I first learned about that outfit from the “Teachers’ Union Taps Liberal Watchdog To Help Students Identify Misinformation” January 26, 2022 Washington Free Beacon report involving the ill-advised decision of the American Federation of Teachers to tap NewsGuard as a partner to tag ‘disinformation sources,’ despite NewsGuard itself having been exposed for its praise for politically biased news outlets, and as a purveyor of actual disinformation itself. Who does NewsGuard award with a perfect score for trustworthiness? Among them is the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) who bragged about that in 2020 and then published an outlandishly disinforming headline report less than a month later titled “Climate change is killing Americans,” where they partnered with the Columbia Journalism School’s investigations unit and with the UK Guardian newspaper. The Guardian being the newspaper that prints Naomi Oreskes’ disinformation accusations, and the Columbia School being the place that created the “Covering Climate Now” news-providing organization co-founded by Mark Hertsgaard, who’s both a recent and longtime purveyor of misinformation surrounding Ross Gelbspan (who never won a Pulitzer). Speaking of Gelbspan, the NewsGuard-approved CPI was also a purveyor of Gelbspan’s accusation disinformation back in 2008. And, NewsGuard itself is partly funded by the Knight Foundation, the same foundation that funds Kert Davies’ disinformation (that disinformation), and that also supports Society of Environmental Journalists co-creator Jim Detjen. Who was it in January 2022 that conducted a poll revealing “many Americans” favor limiting ‘disinformation’? The Knight Foundation.

See how that all works? Look into any narrative about the climate issue that veers into the accusation about skeptic climate scientists being on the payroll of ‘Big Coal & Oil,’ and you see the people involved end up being separated from Ross Gelbspan usually be three degrees or less. Wait, one more thing — who else did NewsGuard give a perfect score in 2020 for news trustworthiness along with CPI? The Atlantic magazine.

Which brings us right back to where we started at the top of this blog post, with one remaining wipeout to finish off. Who was another source the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) taps for advice on ‘disinformation’? Desmogblog, an outright disinformation site co-founded by a person who self-admitted that he knew nothing about climate science who nonetheless knew that PhD-level skeptic climate scientists were liars, a man who was led to create Desmog by no less than Ross Gelbspan …. and it is Gelbspan who states outright 8 seconds into this disinformation audio interview that he was Desmog’s other co-founder.
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But wait, there’s more. There’s always more — coming up later in a follow-up post, where have we heard calls to shut down the big free speech “megaphone” before?? There’s nothing new about that call in the least, and loyal readers of GelbspanFiles can probably already guess where I’ll be headed on that one ….