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.”
“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?”