Why Reddit’s r/Science Banned Climate ‘Skeptics’


Over on Reddit, a “censorship” controversy is brewing around r/science — one of the site’s many “subreddits,” or forums for discussion on specific topics — and the permissibility of discussion centered on skepticism on climate change.

The climate change debate is one most people you’d find on r/science don’t deem as “up for discussion.” The bulk of peer-reviewed science on “global warming” is essentially a settled matter, with few educated individuals feeling the jury hasn’t declared climate change a real and ongoing issue.

Ultimately, the mods at r/science (which boasts four million subscribers) felt that the distracting “debates” on settled science were detracting from substantive discussion — and one of those mods, chemist Nathan Allen, writes on Grist of the repetitive issue:

“These people were true believers, blind to the fact that their arguments were hopelessly flawed, the result of cherry-picked data and conspiratorial thinking. They had no idea that the smart-sounding talking points from their preferred climate blog were, even to a casual climate science observer, plainly wrong. They were completely enamored by the emotionally charged and rhetoric-based arguments of pundits on talk radio and Fox News.”

He continues:

“Over and over, solid peer-reviewed science was insulted as corrupt, while blog posts from fossil-fuel-funded groups were cited as objective fact. Worst of all, they didn’t even get the irony of quoting oil-funded blogs that called university scientists biased.”

Allen also muses that media could take a similar, rooted in science approach to stymie the issue of science deniers:

“So if a half-dozen volunteers can keep a page with more than 4 million users from being a microphone for the antiscientific, is it too much to ask for newspapers to police their own editorial pages as proficiently?”

You can read the Reddit r/science mod’s entire post over at Grist, with additional info at ThinkProgress.

Kim LaCapria

Kim LaCapria is a social media enthusiast, long-time Inquisitr.com writer and beauty and lifestyle industry expert. She covers a wide range of social media topics, with a particular interest in style-related apps and services. When not working, Kim can be found on Facebook and Pinterest, skating, and sneaking off to Spa Castle.


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