Elon Musk is making news with the release of emails incriminating Twitter and the federal government for coordinating efforts on viewpoint censorship. The release of the “Twitter Files,” however, is merely after-the- fact confirmation of what we even after the release of the Twitter Files. Rest assured, however, Heartland is fighting back.
I first experienced Big Tech censorship during my years writing a weekly climate change column for Forbes’ online publication. In 2011, Forbes asked me to begin writing a regular column exposing climate change propaganda. My weekly Forbes column quickly became one of the most popular climate change columns published on the internet. For several years, my regular column averaged many thousands of readers and consistently appeared at the top of
Google News searches for “climate change.” Then, quite suddenly, Google began burying my Forbes column and everything else I would write. Despite the longstanding popularity of my column, I could Google-search the exact title of an article I wrote, along with my name, and the article simply would not show up in Google’s results. With people unable to find my articles, my readership numbers quickly plummeted.
The Heartland Institute’s overall social media visibility and numbers plunged at the same time. Through July 2016, Heartland averaged 30,000 and 60,000 daily Facebook impressions. Those were numbers we had built up and maintained over a long period of time. Suddenly, like somebody flipping a light switch, our Facebook impressions cratered to an average of about 10,000 per day, and they have never recovered. To this day, the numbers clearly show we remain shadow-banned by Big Tech.
The Big Tech oligarchs were up to their same old shenanigans this January. Heartland invited prominent climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry to appear on the January 6, 2023 episode of our weekly Climate Change Roundtable videocast. As Curry is one of the most recognizable and accomplished climate scientists in the world, we expected record viewership for this edition of the Roundtable. However, just minutes before the scheduled start of the livestream, YouTube froze our account and refused to allow us to broadcast the Roundtable. YouTube said it was giving us a “strike” for an unrelated Heartland podcast that was broadcast in 2021 and only now, nearly two years later, was slapping us with a one-week suspension just minutes before our most anticipated Climate Change Roundtable ever.
Heartland’s communications team quickly sprang into action. We streamed the Roundtable through the free-speech-oriented platform Rumble. Though we did not get nearly as many live viewers there as we had expected to watch on YouTube, the one-hour recording of the show with Dr. Curry on Rumble racked up nearly 150,000 views in less than a week. That is by far the most views ever for an edition of Climate Change Roundtable—no matter where it was streamed or posted.
In short: we won. Now, after Big Tech failed in its effort to censor our climate realism program, YouTube has acknowledged it had no justification to give us a“ strike” and a suspension. Big Tech throttled us on the day of the Roundtable, but it couldn’t keep climate realism and truth down forever. At The Heartland Institute, we’ll never give up spreading the truth.