'New denial': There's a shift in climate denialism on YouTube

This new era of misinformation is circumventing the platform's climate change policy

Laptop With a Playing Icon on the Laptop Screen
Climate deniers are changing the tone of their content
(Image credit: GOCMEN / Getty Images)

With the reality of climate change becoming harder to ignore, climate change denialism on YouTube has "morphed into a misleading new narrative," The Verge reported. In a recently published report, the Center for Countering Digital Hate called out the "startling and important rise" of what it called "new denial" over the past five years. 

The nonprofit defines this new wave of climate denial as "the departure from rejection of anthropogenic climate change, to attacks on climate science and scientists, and rhetoric seeking to undermine confidence in solutions to climate change." This new wave of content centers around messages that discredit climate solutions, that the science behind the solutions is unreliable, "or that global warming isn't actually harmful," The Verge explained. After analyzing thousands of hours of content from 96 accounts known to spread climate disinformation, the CCDH discovered that new denial content made up 70% of climate disinformation on YouTube in 2023, up from 35% in 2018. The report also found that YouTube makes up to $13.4 million yearly from ads on the channels it flagged. 

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Theara Coleman, The Week US

Theara Coleman has worked as a staff writer at The Week since September 2022. She frequently writes about technology, education, literature and general news. She was previously a contributing writer and assistant editor at Honeysuckle Magazine, where she covered racial politics and cannabis industry news.