New censorship demands.

In a public submission to tech giants in the 2022 review of the Australian Code of Practice on Misinformation and Disinformation, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering called on online platforms to crack down on “climate denialism misinformation.”

The academies want online platforms to fight what it calls “climate denialism” by “actively promoting reliable, peer-reviewed, and appropriately labeled material from trusted sources.”

The academies’ submission noted that the Code of Practice on Misinformation and Disinformation “excludes professional news content that is published under a publicly available editorial code.” It adds that the exclusion “allows climate science denialism and other misinformation to flourish, either through lack of enforcement of the disinformation provision of the code or failure of news outlets’ misinformation to meet the higher bar of being considered disinformation.”

The submission singles out Sky News Australia as a “key source of climate misinformation globally,” citing a recent report from the UK titled “Deny, Deceive, Delay.”

The paper refers to “political right-wing top influencers” as being part of an “intellectual dark web.” It names prominent staff at Sky News Australia, including Rita Panahi, as well as other skeptics from Europe, the UK, and North America.

“While climate issues are not part of their [conservative pundits] main content strategy, they nevertheless engage in frequent criticism of their respective governments’ environmental policies, attack or ridicule prominent climate activists, or employ narratives outlined in the previous section of this report,” the paper reads.

The Toxic Ten paper attacks online platforms for failing to censor climate change denialism and taking money from organizations that profit from fossil fuels.

“It is the greatest crisis ever faced by our species… We are calling on Facebook and Google to stop promoting and funding climate denial, start labeling it as misinformation, and stop giving the advantages of their enormous platform to lies and misinformation. As long as Facebook and Google carry on doing business with climate deniers, they cannot claim to be ‘green.’ They owe it to us and the planet we all share, to deliver.”

The academies also called on online platforms to crack down on health misinformation, even though health experts have continued to change their minds on what is actually “misinformation,” especially information related to COVID-19.

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