LinkedIn joins its big brothers with social media censorship

Published December 15, 2020

If you think that the Microsoft owned social media platform LinkedIn is just about professional and business connections with no politics, you would be wrong. They appear now to be trending toward emulating their bigger social media rivals at Facebook, Google and Twitter in censoring those views with which they disagree. My second run-in with the LinkedIn censorship squad in as many months occurred recently when they removed a post linking to a new paper on global temperatures published by the CO2 Coalition. According to the LinkedIn censorship team, the post was removed because it “goes against our Professional Community Policies.”

Although they provided no description of what rules were broken, the only possible “violation” of their terms and conditions was an admonition to “not share false or misleading content.” I can only imagine some man bun-wearing fellow with a degree in sustainable development sitting in LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale headquarters gleefully hitting the “delete” button in order to prevent distribution of this important scientific paper.

The censored paper, The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record, may be of interest only to climate geeks like myself, but it was completely factual, fully sourced and written by two of the top climate scientists in the world, Richard Lindzen and John Christy. These are no light-weight scientists. Dr. Lindzen of MIT is an award recipient of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. He is also a member of the National Academy of Science and was a lead author of the UN IPCC’s third assessment report’s scientific volume.

Professor Christy is the director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and has been Alabama’s State Climatologist since 2000. Along with Dr. Roy Spencer, he has maintained one of the key global temperature data sets relied on by scientists and government bodies. For this achievement, they were awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.

The main thrust of the paper was to put the modest 1.2 degree rise in temperature since 1900 in its proper perspective. When compared to the wide swings in temperature experienced on a daily and yearly basis, that slight rise in global temperature over the last 120 years does not appear quite as alarming as portrayed by the purveyors of climate doom. Like so many other scholarly works that don’t support the notion of catastrophic man-made warming, the science and the authors needed to be silenced and censored. And so they did.

The CO2 Coalition was the publisher of the now censored Lindzen/Christy paper and is no stranger to the social media censorship squads. The coalition’s leadership and members are a who’s who of leading scientists studying carbon dioxide and climate change, including atmospheric physicists, climatologists, ecologists, statisticians, and energy experts. They apparently have many in the powerful climate alarm community fearful that they are successfully conveying unapproved science and have faced down several attempts to silence them by some of the best-known climate avengers in the world. 

First, a letter—signed by Stacey Abrams, Tom Steyer, and 13 leaders of groups working to ban fossil fuels—was sent to Facebook demanding that it shut down the Facebook page of the CO2 Coalition and to censor posts of its members’ studies and articles on other users’ pages.

Soon thereafter, four senators, including Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren and Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse, sent an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to censor the CO2 Coalition because “climate change is an existential crisis” and publicizing any view contrary to that claim “puts action on climate change at risk.”

The attempts at censorship extended to the Coalition chairman, Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace. His PragerU video, “What They Haven’t Told You About Climate Change,” which has more than 3.6 million views, was “fact-checked” by Climate Feedback as “misleading.” Moore’s supposedly misleading statement was: “Of course the climate is changing. It always has. It always will.”

The recent censorship on LinkedIn is not widely known but has extended to others who have dared to post factual data on climate change and on COVID-19, including the de-platforming of blogger David Ramsden-Wood for posting a link to a Stanford University antibody study.

The social media giants are currently protected by a key legal shield known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Future Congressional hearings to review this protection should be sure to include LinkedIn’s CEO Ryan Roslansky to testify alongside his compadres Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey.