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Facebook is slammed for censoring posts linking increase in whale deaths along east coast to offshore WIND FARMS

Daily Mail|Dominic Yeatman |August 18, 2023
USAOffshore WindWhales

Facebook has found itself in hot water after wading into the debate over whether off-shore wind farms are responsible for a surge in whale deaths across the east coast. Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has accused the internet giant of ‘censoring accurate information’ after it slapped a content warning on a post about the beaching of 300 whales since 2017. Officials admit there has been an 'unusual mortality event' on the east coast in the last six years with strandings reported from New York to North Carolina, but have insisted the string of new wind farms are not responsible.


Nearly 300 whales have been beached from Maine to Florida since 2017; Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger claims the social media giant is covering up for the government 

Facebook has found itself in hot water after wading into the debate over whether off-shore wind farms are responsible for a surge in whale deaths across the east coast.

Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has accused the internet giant of ‘censoring accurate information’ after it slapped a content warning on a post about the beaching of 300 whales since 2017.

Officials admit there has been an 'unusual mortality event' on the east coast in the last six years with strandings reported from New York to North Carolina, but have insisted the string of new wind farms are …

... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

Nearly 300 whales have been beached from Maine to Florida since 2017; Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger claims the social media giant is covering up for the government 

Facebook has found itself in hot water after wading into the debate over whether off-shore wind farms are responsible for a surge in whale deaths across the east coast.

Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has accused the internet giant of ‘censoring accurate information’ after it slapped a content warning on a post about the beaching of 300 whales since 2017.

Officials admit there has been an 'unusual mortality event' on the east coast in the last six years with strandings reported from New York to North Carolina, but have insisted the string of new wind farms are not responsible.

The controversy blew up days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was threatened with contempt of Congress amid claims the social media firm removed posts at the direction of the Biden White House.

‘Facebook is censoring accurate information about the relationship between industrial wind energy development and the increase in whale deaths off the East Coast,’ Shellenberger said.

‘Why is Facebook censoring accurate information and spreading disinformation?’

Construction is underway on two new wind farms off Rhode Island and Massachusetts after the White House pledged to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes.

Two are already operating off Rhode Island and Virginia Beach despite fury from conservationists and commercial fishing operators, and the $10billion Virginia development is expected to feature more than 175 wind turbines by 2026.

In January, the Clean Ocean Action environmental group asked President Joe Biden to step in and halt the wind farm projects, saying there was evidence it was related to the whale deaths.

'We've gone too far, too fast,' Clean Ocean Action executive director Cindy Zipf said.

'Over 2.2 million acres is being allocated to offshore wind and 10,000 miles of cables.

'This alarming number of deaths is unprecedented in the last half century, the only unique factor from previous years, is the excessive scope, scale, and magnitude of offshore wind powerplant activity in the region.’

The latest dead whale washed ashore on Takanassee Beach in New Jersey on Saturday, and this year is on course to be the worst on record for fatal strandings on the east coast.

Shellenberger has called the issue the ‘biggest environmental scandal in the world’ and delivered a series of angry posts to his thousands of Facebook followers this week.

‘The government says it’s not because of the wind industry’s high decibel pile driving and boat traffic in previously pristine waters,’ he wrote.

‘They’re lying. And now we have the proof.’

That triggered Facebook watchdogs to slap a warning, claiming the post was ‘missing context and could mislead people’.

It also linked to an article by Facebook partner Factcheck.org insisting there is no reason to believe wind farms are to blame.

‘Several factors, experts and officials have said, could be increasing the risk of these hazards,’ the checkers wrote.

‘For one, climate change is warming oceans and changing the distribution of prey that marine species depend on.

‘As a result, whales are altering their migration routes and moving out of protected areas and closer to the shores, where they are more vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement with fishing gear.’

It pointed to autopsies carried out by the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggesting that 40 per cent of dead humpbacks were killed by hitting boats or getting tangled in ropes.

But they admit: ‘The causes for the other 60 per cent have been inconclusive, in part, officials say, because the carcasses decompose quickly, making it difficult to determine a cause of death.’

Facebook automatically moves reduces the visibility of posts flagged by its fact-checking partners, including AFP, reducing the visibility of false or misleading content.

But earlier this month its parent company Meta changed its settings allowing users to partially disable the fact-checking that they see.

‘We're giving people on Facebook even more power to control the algorithm that ranks posts in their feed,’ a Meta spokesman told AFP.

We're doing this in response to users telling us that they want a greater ability to decide what they see on our apps.’

‘For the last 20 years, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that his social media company is the “digital equivalent of a town square,” committed to factual accuracy, and protecting the natural environment,’ Shellenberger said.

‘Facebook knows its “fact checks” are just their “opinion”.

‘Thus, labeling FactCheck.org, which in this case is simply repeating US government misinformation, as a “fact-checker” is disinformation.’


Source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/n…

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