Welcome back, everyone! A couple updates on past content: YouTube has demonetized some of, but not all or entirely, the climate disinfo videos we flagged recently, and footage is now online of both the Dessler vs. Koonin "debate" courtesy of conservative billionaires like Koch-funded Reason dot com, and the recent Netroots Nation Panel on climate disinformation, featuring Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (and yours truly).
And if that's not enough, you can watch Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa give a keynote speech in part about a new 10 point plan to protect journalists while calling on "rights-respecting democracies to wake up to the existential threat of information ecosystems being distorted by a Big Tech business model fixated on harvesting people’s data and attention, even as it undermines serious journalism and polarizes debate in society and political life."
But if perhaps you're not into watching hours of (climate) disinfo content, you can find some more resources at the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which created a bunch of great infographics on conspiracy theories. Everything — from the basics of what they are, and how to spot them, to how they can be harmful, to the link to antisemitism, to debunking and reporting on them — is available in a variety of languages.
The #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign was launched back in 2020, but we're only seeing it now because Geoff Chambers posted a whole long rant to CliScep about how totally not mad and jealous he is about the UN using the climate and conspiracy theory expertise of John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky to put together these social-media shareables. Cook and Lewandowsky should be familiar to regular readers here, having put together the Conspiracy Theory Handbook and Debunking Handbook, upon which the UNESCO content is based, and one of the first major sets of recommendations for social media companies to minimize the harm of disinformation.
Surely then, dark forces were at work, because at the same time CliScep was celebrating the UN's recognition of Cook and Lewandowsky's expertise, a post by Tony Thomas (republished from Quadrant and also reposted at JoNova and WUWT) informed us that the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering are also reading up on the latest and greatest in climate disinformation expertise.
Of course Tony Thomas didn't put it quite like that. He interpreted the groups' submission to review of the Australian Code of Practice on Misinformation and Disinformation, which recommended things like making sure professional news content is included, and clearly defining issue-based advertising, as a direct threat to silence him and other deniers, with the headline: "Shut Them Up, Argues the Academy of Science."
Which is interesting, because someone who doesn't think they spread disinfo would probably not immediately jump to the conclusion that an effort to address anti-vaxxers and professional liars would apply to them. But it does, and they know it, so why try to hide it?
Instead, Tony Thomas brought to our attention that, like the UN, "the Academies’ submission shows influencing from the psychologists Drs John Cook and Stephan Lewandowski playbook on how to deal with 'deniers'..."
Additionally, Thomas highlights that the Aussie scientists cite the Deny, Deceive, Delay report on disinformation surrounding COP27, and indeed one of its key recommendations was not to exempt media outlets, given that conservative propaganda relies on mainstream-ish "media."
So congrats to Cook, Lewandowsky, and the team behind DDD, for getting cited in venues that really matter!