My Email To The NAS, NAE, and NAM

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

As just reported here on WUWT, the National Academies of Science, of Engineering, and of Medicine recently stated that with Google funding, they are going to decide what is scientific “misinformation”. This is a terrifying possibility, because if Google decides your scientific claims are “misinformation”, your entire life’s work could easily disappear from public access and view. In response, I’ve sent the following email to all the NAS/NAE/NAM email addresses I could find … which is not many …


To: National Academies of Science <worldwidewebfeedback@nas.edu>, ksm@nas.edu. cpnas@nas.edu. news@nas.edu.

Subject: Please forward to your Presidents


Dear friends, your organizations recently put out this statement:

Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Effort to Counter Online Misinformation 

We are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health.  Part of the mission of the National Academies has always been to help ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence.  To that end, we are convening Academy members to discuss ways by which we could help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information; this exploratory phase will be supported by a grant from Google.  We are excited to pursue an effort that aligns with our fundamental principles and that we believe is critically important at a time when misinformation is a threat to sound decision-making and an informed citizenry.

I am shocked and saddened that your organizations would use your authority to try to quash legitimate scientific dissent in this underhanded fashion. Richard Feynman famously said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” … and you guys are the ones now claiming to be experts. Why should we trust you in the slightest to make huge scientific decisions when Richard Feynman says you are ignorant? Whatever happened to “Nullius In Verba”?

Next, I have to ask, what does “misinformation” mean on your planet?

Unfortunately, in practice it will most likely mean “Scientific claims that we, the anointed and unquestionable experts, don’t like.”

This is as anti-scientific a stance as I can imagine. You have no authority to decide what is valid science and what is misinformation. That is arrogant hubris of the worst kind. Your three Presidents and their offsiders should be deeply ashamed to be involved with this in any form.

Of course, y’all don’t publish the emails of your officers, or you’ve hidden them so well that my extensive search couldn’t find them … and if I were involved in this kind of scientific malfeasance I wouldn’t want my email address out there either …

So if you could please forward this email to the following people, you would be doing a very big scientific public service. I’m sorry to involve you but when your officials hide out, I’m forced to try to contact them by other means. Here’s who this email is really addressed to:

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

President: Marcia McNutt
Executive Officer: Bruce B. Darling
Executive Director: Kenneth R. Fulton

National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

President: C. D. Mote Jr.
Executive Officer: Alton D. Romig, Jr.

National Academy of Medicine (NAM)

President: Victor J. Dzau
Executive Officer: J. Michael McGinnis

Claiming that scientific organizations should be able to define “misinformation” is a tragic attempt to illegitimately and prematurely end scientific debate and discussion. It is top-down scientific totalitarianism of the finest Russian variety, where the Commissariat decided what science was good and what science was never to see the light of day.

Science proceeds by transparency and public discussion, not by some anti-scientific Star Chamber declaring someone’s unusual or unpopular scientific ideas to be “misinformation”. You are starting down a politically-driven path which will eventually destroy your scientific reputation. I implore you to abandon this ill-founded idea before your personal and organizational reputations are swirling around the porcelain bowl …

In hopes that you have the scientific integrity to speedily abjure such scientific totalitarianism, I remain,

Sincerely and sadly yours,

w.


So that’s my email, it went out today, and here’s the dystopic future we may face if these heedless scientific autocrats get their way …

legion of science police

We need to fight this. Every honest scientist everywhere on the planet needs to realize that depending on who is defining “misinformation” this week, their life’s work could be disappeared by Google, classed as “misinformation” so it would never appear in a Google search and would be banned from Facebook … is this truly what we want science to sink to, blatant scientific censorship by NAS, NAE, NAM, and Google?

Finally, if you think this is a dangerous move, I ask you to take action. Add an email to mine, pick up the phone and call someone, write a letter to the NAS or to the Editor, do something, anything to try to slow this runaway train.

Because having Google and the NAS in charge of deciding whose scientific opinions should be “disappeared” in the best Soviet fashion is a view of a future I never want to see … and it may very possibly happen unless we actively oppose it.

My best to everyone, take action,

w.

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201 thoughts on “My Email To The NAS, NAE, and NAM

  1. Where can I get Science Police comics? Are the science police allies of the Justice League? Or evil villains? Do Marvel Comics have a version of this?

    Is it my imagination? Or has the Climatariat gone full-retard since President Trump 86’ed Paris?

    If my comment offended anyone…

    • Net neutrality is about getting what you asked for on an IP network.

      What do you “ask for” on a search engine?

      • The screechers at its about the free flow of information and equal access without a corporate filter.

        I guess the concern was never about a filter, just about the screechers not controlling the filter.

      • There is officially no “filter”. Google doesn’t stop anyone from following any hyperlink. No website would be blocked. Google would just not link to these from its search engine (you would still be able to see and follow the links in Gmail).

        Google just wants to order websites by “relevance”. The definition changed many times. There was never any stability implied, nor desired: why would the same site be on top forever?

        What do you expect Google to do exactly?

      • s-t March 21, 2018 at 9:29 pm

        There is officially no “filter”. Google doesn’t stop anyone from following any hyperlink. No website would be blocked. Google would just not link to these from its search engine (you would still be able to see and follow the links in Gmail).

        Google just wants to order websites by “relevance”. The definition changed many times. There was never any stability implied, nor desired: why would the same site be on top forever?

        What do you expect Google to do exactly?

        Call me crazy, but I expect them to live up to their motto, “Do No Evil”. When you start slanting results on a political basis, that’s evil … and so is deciding whether or not a given scientific claim is “misinformation” or not.

        w.

      • Well, that was before the eighth plague of Egypt the liberal enlighten West: “Fake news” aka “Russian propaganda” aka “Russian election interference” aka “hacking US election” aka “Trump Putin #collusion” aka “#TrumpRussia”.

        Consisting of the rise of Western domestic oil production and energy independence (to help Putin destabilize the West, or something).

      • “When you start slanting results on a political basis, that’s evil ”

        Correct. That is probably why Google dropped the “quaint” Do No Evil motto.

        Good initiative BTW. If they are playing hide and seek with emails maybe a REAL letter would be a better and stronger statement. These academies are legal entities and finding a postal address should not be too hard.

      • Google and others have already publicly declared their intent to first label and then block anything that they regard as “fake news”.

  2. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    THE “Ministy of Truth” just got a whole lot closer to reality. Winston would be proud.

    Nice work Willis. Will circulate as far and wide as we can. Important stuff.
    Cheers,
    Jamie (Climatism)

  3. The Information Ministry? We’ve reached another milestone in world history. Glad I’m in the third trimester of life.

  4. Willis, Willis, Willis … balance your qi, bro. Your blocked meridians are sending out negative frequencies that are bumming my chakra alignment.

    Take a few detoxifying breaths, imagine a lime green sphere floating in front of you, and use mindfulness to bring it into your heart.

    (That’ll be 2000 yuan, please.)

  5. “try to quash legitimate scientific dissent in this underhanded fashion”
    What is underhanded here? They are saying that they’ll check on what is being said, and if they think it is wrong, they will say so. How is that “totalitarian”?

      • Let’s just imagine Exxon-Mobil funding a grant on the same undertaking here. How much bias would be alleged by the warmist crowd?

    • Nick Stokes March 21, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      “try to quash legitimate scientific dissent in this underhanded fashion”

      What is underhanded here? They are saying that they’ll check on what is being said, and if they think it is wrong, they will say so. How is that “totalitarian”?

      Where have you been living? Google is funding this push. Google and Facebook are already censoring what they call “misinformation” on both platforms, as is Twitter. The Europeans are in the process of passing laws that all three platforms censor “hate speech” and other imaginary crimes.

      … and if you think they won’t do that with scientific information, I have a lovely bridge in New York that you might be interested in purchasing …

      w.

      • No, Nick, if they they think something is wrong they won’t say so, they will suppress it.

      • The elites are tightening screws. With a support from Google, here goes the Internet. I already switched to DuckDuckGo, but they can be silenced in no time.

      • I am curious what is an “imaginary crime”? Hate speech is illegal in many countries and therefore a real crime in those countries although in others it is legal.

        As it currently stands people are dying as a result of scientifically inaccurate information about vaccines that is present on the web. Too many people are refusing to have their kids vaccinated in places like California resulting in the outbreak of measles causing the death of other people’s kids. If google were to place a notice next to a link to an anti-vac website saying “The NAM says that this is bullshit – click here to learn more” would you object?

      • Willis,
        Google is a private company. They have a business. Their business is providing users who supply search requests with links that Google thinks they will find most helpful. Many of those users will think scientific correctness is a part of relevance. If Google gets that view of usres wrong, their business will suffer.

        People make a choice to use Google, because they like what Google provides. They are free to use other private firms if they don’t like Google’s priorities.

        It may be that Google will use the NAS view to guide them, although all they are doing for the moment is funding. If they do use it, it will be a commercial decision, based on what they think their users want. That is Google’s core business.

      • nick, you are missing the point spectacularly here,and also claiming you think you know how this will be done. you don’t.

      • Germinio,

        The whole concept of a “hate crime” is that you said something that hurt someone’s feelings. This is not a crime, but people who feel they have a right to go through life unoffended push this concept. They aren’t the ones who pass it however. That would be the political class (especially but not limited to the left) who see it as a way to get rid of that pesky criticism of their actions by lowly subjects to their whims.

        It is in no way worse for someone to physically attack you because they hate you then for them to physically attack you because you are in the way. In both cases, you suffer the exact same physical damage. If someone kills you because they hate you, you are exactly the same amount dead as if they killed you because you were a witness to their other crimes.

        Now, the whole concept of “Hate Speech” in a democracy is an offense against nature. If I think you are a complete arse on some issue, I should be free to tell the world about it. If I think your practices are antithetical to a free society, if you don’t like me saying it, prove me wrong. If some left or right wing extremist wants to spew on their favorite conspiracies in the public square, we should all encourage them – the better to know who to avoid in polite society. If I see my banker, butcher, or tailor at such an event participating enthusiastically, I know to get a new banker, butcher or tailor right away. But, when we begin to try to ban anything not of our echo chamber from the public square, then our representative democracies (or republics as in the US case) die an immediate death, and eventually bloody warfare will replace the verbal combat that politics serves as a proxy for. Remove that proxy and you will experience the real thing in short order! That is the fallacy of “hate” laws. They suppress the natural outlet the verbal combat provides which diffuses the human tendency to take by force that which we desire.

      • “If they do use it, it will be a commercial decision, based on what they think their users want.”

        No, if they use it, it will be a religious/political decision, based on what they want their users to be allowed to see. I once had a “discussion” with a greenie that was extremely distressed that I had been allowed to find any independent information on global warming, as it was known in those days before everybody knew the globe hadn’t warmed. Imagine a world where he had his way and nobody was allowed to see the truth.

      • OweninGA – you state that:

        The whole concept of a “hate crime” is that you said something that hurt someone’s feelings. This is not a crime,

        But that misses my point – it is not a crime in the US since free speech is protected under the constitution but it is a crime in other countries. And whether or not you agree with that if you want to operate a business in those countries you have to obey the local laws. Another example would be that selling cannabis might be legal in California it is illegal in Texas – does this make it an “imaginary crime” or a real crime?

      • Germinio March 21, 2018 at 6:56 pm

        OweninGA – you state that:

        The whole concept of a “hate crime” is that you said something that hurt someone’s feelings. This is not a crime,

        But that misses my point – it is not a crime in the US since free speech is protected under the constitution but it is a crime in other countries.

        I think this is a semantic dispute. In some countries it’s illegal to do what I did, draw cartoons of Muhammad. Does that make it a “real crime”?

        Not on my planet. It is assuredly illegal in some countries. But it’s still an imaginary crime on my planet. And yes, it’s illegal in Britain to teach a dog to give a Hitler-like salute. That’s a perfect example of what I meant by an “imaginary crime”—something which on any reasonable planet would not be a crime.

        Now, if you don’t like the term “imaginary crime” for something that is a dog joke, use whatever term you’d like.

        Me, I’ll continue to call them “imaginary crimes”. If you teach your dog to steal meat from the butcher shop that’s a real crime. On the other hand, teaching a dog to stick one arm up in the air?

        That’s an imaginary crime, no matter what term you want to use.

        w.

      • “Googles business is advertising.”
        Google’s business is getting people to look at the advertisements. And to do that, they have to provide search results that people want. If Duckduckgogo can do that better, they will be the next Google. But for the moment, Google is providing what their users want.

      • So Willis if I am understanding you correctly a real crime is anything that you think is a crime and an imaginary crime is anything that you think should be legal but is actually illegal in some jurisdiction. This is not a very workable definition. Nor are your examples particular useful – a more useful one might be selling Nazi memorabilia which is illegal in France and Germany but legal in many other countries – should google obey the French law and not show auctions for such items? Another example: the US government is trying to get microsoft to give it details about files held in a database located in Ireland something which is legal if the computer was located in the US but illegal in Ireland. Working out what jurisdiction holds on the internet is an almost impossible task and needs more thought than classifying crimes as real or imaginary.

      • It is not too far from what Google seems to be saying to this:-
        “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
        ― George Orwell, 1984

      • “if you want to operate a business in those countries you have to obey the local laws”

        But then, what is “operating” in a country, for a web based service?

        Being accessible?

      • Owen in GA uttered

        The whole concept of a “hate crime” is that you said something that hurt someone’s feelings.

        Hopefully not.

        Hate crime is when you tell (Christians, or insert whatever group here) should be eliminated (or put to slavery or have the value of dogs, or similar) and you mean it and you have the position to actually cause violence, which is your goal.

        It is not (or should not be) about feelings, though since I don’t like extensive, continuous, very libellous four letter language, I don’t mind at all if google suppresses it. Really.

        Hate speech is basically what capital H did. Some milder forms appear, for example, at modern Russia where hate speech is a common tool for keeping national integrity at tines of poverty and
        corruption.

        Calling Democrats Dimcraps is not hate speech. (it might be a fact, though) Telling Manning should be eliminated, borders it. Leading a crowd that cheers on you when you say Manning must be lynched, certainly is hate speech.

      • Sorry Hugs, you just made up your own definition of hate crime. You’re not allowed to do that , it’s called straw man tactics.

        A guy in Britain just got a criminal record for teaching his dog to raise a paw to a vocal stimulus in a “nazi salute”. That was done to annoy his g.f. apparently. He was not teaching his dog to attack jews or intending any real violence to anyone.

        “Hate crime” is the crime of not being politically correct. They hate that , but that kind of hate is healthy hate.

      • Google use the cash people pay them to put them at the top of the search list, if they feel like it.
        I know quite a few cases of people paying the cash but not getting that service.
        It is called CENCORSHIP, something that the Internet was supposed to avoid.

        As to hate crime in the UK & EU Muslims can say whatever they like about any other religion and do so all the time, including death threats and inciting violence.
        They other way around however is a crime.

      • Just because government makes speech illegal, doesn’t make speech a crime.
        Except to those who like living under totalitarian regimes.

      • Hate speech is a lot like the new definition of sexual harassment.
        If the woman feels harassed, then she was harassed.
        What is harassment to one woman, may not be harassment to another.
        What isn’t harassment today, might be harassment tomorrow.
        The whole goal of these laws is to keep the citizens on the defensive, never knowing whether a given action will get them in trouble or not.
        A citizen that is in fear of his government, is a citizen that is easy to control.

      • I actually agree with Nick. If Google produces search results that are not helpful, I will take my business elsewhere. It is their prerogative as a private business to shoot themselves in the foot.

      • I no longer use Google to search for alternative ideas about how Earth is warmed. Google seems clearly biased towards the so called “consensus” on this topic.

        In other words, Google has already been doing this sort of misinformation mining. Needless to say, it is no longer my default search engine.

    • Don’t know much about humans, do you Nick? They won’t say it’s wrong, it will be defined as misinformation. Misinformation is a deliberate lie in an attempt at propaganda designed to mislead. “Misinformation” implies intent, like “Counter revolutionary” used to do.

      • Kind of reminds one of Russian science before Khrushchev deposed Lysenko as “The Big Head” of genetics.

    • So if I say the “hockey stick” is a joke, the models on which global warming is based are so bad that they cannot replicate the past, let alone the future, and that CO2, is not toxic but a necessity of life and is not relevant to global warming, how are they to explain that I am wrong? Are they going to point me to the United Nations, and more specifically, the International Panel on Climate Change, as proof? oh yea, the same organization that has Cuba, Venezuala, China, etc. representing the human rights council.

      • No, they will simply disappear your words as if you had never written them. If in the future, your words are needed to support the new war against east-asia, they will mysteriously reappear as though they were never gone. YOU WILL LEARN TO LOVE BIG BROTHER!!!

    • “try to quash legitimate scientific dissent in this underhanded fashion”
      What is underhanded here? They are saying that they’ll check on what is being said, and if they think it is wrong, they will say so. How is that “totalitarian”?

      I think the papacy tried that a few hundred years ago when some misinformation merchant called Galileo came up with this ridiculous idea that the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe. Naturally, the NAS, or the Inquisition as it was known in those days, took action to protect ordinary people from this pernicious idea.

    • Nick Stokes: You have to wonder why the normal give and take in scientific debate is not enough. And, what “misinformation” do you think they are most focused on? I get tired of the nonsense too, but it should not be the job of the NAS to dispense with nonsense. It just feels like there is more going on than meets the eye.

    • Re Nick:
      **if they think it is wrong, they will say so. How is that “totalitarian”?**
      If they THINK, what about proving it wrong.
      If they Think like Nick, we will definitely have a problem.

      • [Attention: The Ministry of Information has determined that this comment is wrong. However, we are not censoring it, just flagging it for your attention by striking through the parts that are wrong. Please report any such further comments by Mr. Stokes to the Ministry, where they will be examined to see if they are wrong as well.]

        I am sure they will explain why they think it is wrong. And you may be unconvinced. It happens.

        What do you do when you think something is wrong?

        [Sorry, Nick, I couldn’t resist … but heck, you’re not being censored so you should have no complaints … w.]

      • Not sure about how things work where you live, but when an information service doesn’t agree with a position they simply exclude it altogether – no mention of it, no reference.. it’s just gone.

        I’m thinking of a whole section of books once readily available in the State Library system and district branches in Western Australia about indigenous history. Not many years back they were moved to reserve, then closed reserve.. this coincided with laws being passed that made it a criminal offense to suggest certain recorded and documented activities ever happened. Basically it became illegal to even mention these events – as it was now deemed to be an incitement of racism (these events were real and very well documented with news clippings of the day, eyewitness reports and so forth).. nonetheless, discussing it is now criminal.

        Now these books are not just unobtainable but the very reference to their existence is gone. None are listed at all – they’ve just disappeared.

        You honestly think Google will say ‘oh top linked article folks with 57,000 visitors a day.. but we don’t think what they’re saying is legit so maybe just like, don’t go there hmmm?’

        no- the links if they exist at all will be buried deeply and it’ll take convoluted Boolean search stings to even get close to them (I’m sure others have experienced this already) and in many cases even with precise terms you’ll find nothing.

        My only suggestion is if you find something that’s likely to be censored out of existence is log it on the internet archive and use alternate search engines to dredge it up later.

      • Willis, you are too kind. The problem with flagging ‘false’ knowledge is that google would eventually end up hiding it, effectively censoring it away. So you depiction on what would happen is too mild.

        I would not mind if I googled and retracted results were highlighted as such. Neither I’d mind linking related stuff, even if it was for debunking what I found. It is just info. I need to decide myself what I think about it.

      • Wow, Rob gets upset easily.
        Then again, that’s what happens when someone’s religion is being attacked.

      • Hey Rob, doesn’t feel too good when “your side” Is the one being hit by the censor’s edit does it? Congrats, you just help illustrate Willis’ point!

    • You are correct in your statement that they are very much entitled to voice their opinions.

      I think everyone’s concern is if Google decides to not list your work then that will have a huge impact on the distribution of your idea or counterpoint. They control 75% of the search market and their ability to promote or bury is beyond question.

      • If Google comes clean and actually explains that they are punishing websites for promoting “bad ideas” or “fake news” or whatever they want to call it, many people will think twice about the equivalence between “searching on the Internet” and “googling”. Their “control” of search market can decrease quickly.

      • “They [Google] control 75% of the search market and their ability to promote or bury is beyond question.”

        Maybe that’s the problem.

    • Well, if they just say so, that is fine. But if they block your web page, that is not fine. For example, WUWT would not appear in my Chrome “recents” for some time. That has now been corrected, but Edge has not followed suit.

      I’m sounding like a socialist here, but at some point browsers become public utilities if there is no legitimate competition. What Irony! In senescence, Microsoft and Google, the startup information magnates from the seventies, become the evil corporations regulated by the FCC.

    • Nick is now showing the progressive double speak of suppression. Google’s promise is that their algorithms only rank data per search criteria and they guarantee that they do not suppress or filter (unless someones pays a lot of money for ad words). Once they get into deciding, filtering, or otherwise suppressing content free speech on the internet is gone. This is also the basis of all of the regulatory lawsuits against google, facebook and others emanating from the EU. Nick has shown his true colors. Suppress, subjugate, confuse, misdirect, and when all else fails — lie. Poster child for what is wrong in the world today

      • “they get into deciding, filtering, or otherwise suppressing content”
        Google filters. All search engines do. It is their core business. In filtering, they make decisions. Some content is ranked near the top, some near the bottom. So if you say low ranking is “suppression”, then yes, they do that too. But only for those who choose to use Google. And those who do, do it because they like the way Google filters (and suppresses). Others can use other filters.

        Who is to say that Google can’t provide this service to those that choose to use it?

      • Nick Stokes;
        Google filters…. Who is to say that Google can’t provide this service to those that choose to use it?

        When Google filters and ranks to present me with the results that they think most closely fit what I am searching for, they are providing a service. When they rank results based on their concept of “truth” and what I “should” see, they become political activists, exercising their power to influence society based on their belief system. If you cannot see the danger in this, then you are a fool. Google is the defacto index to human knowledge, with very few of its users even aware of their ability to manipulate them.

        “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” ~ John Dalberg-Acton

        No, Google’s power isn’t absolute. But it is immense, and allowing them to define what is and isn’t true is a big step down a very slippery slope that ends in a very dark place. We’ve been down this path in history before Nick. Only fools justify repeating it.

      • “We’ve been down this path in history before Nick.”
        Not with digital media. But yes, we have, with the press. The same things were said – the press is too powerful, it becomes the arbiter of truth etc etc. And sure enough, people want to regulate it. They want to override the press barons notion of truth with their own.

        Some countries did regulate the press. Others said, it’s for the markets to decide. Private companies can print the content that keeps their readership. It’s a free transaction. Generally, the latter approach has been more successful.

      • Nick Stokes;
        Not with digital media. But yes, we have, with the press.

        That is quite likely the most deliberately misleading comment you’ve ever made in this forum.

        No single press outlet, or even chain of press outlets ever amassed anywhere near the market dominance that Google has. Not to mention that there is a substantial difference between reporting current events and being the defacto index to human knowledge. The two are not comparable. Nor is this about regulating Google. This is about Google regulating everyone else. The opportunity to abuse any such capability will inevitably be exploited. Once wrapped in the cloak of morality, there is no limit to the evil that can be done.

        Your comments are sometimes informative, some times amusing, sometimes aggravating. But on this matter, words fail me. This is black and white Nick. Deciding for other people what is and isn’t true is evil, no good can come of it.

      • “This is black and white Nick”
        So was the press. Before TV it dominated people’s access to public affairs. And the barriers to entry for competitors were far higher than they are with internet sites. And it was very easy to see bias there. Many papers were explicitly partisan. Still, this was generally left to the papers, as businesses, to sort out with their customers.

      • Nick Stokes;
        So was the press.

        What single press outlet EVER had more market share than ALL other press outlets combined on a global basis? Not comparable Nick and you know it. You’ve descended from endorsing some of the worst science on the planet to advocating for evil. Press outlets that abuse their position should rightfully be called to task by public outcry. Google a thousand times more.

      • Nick Stokes;
        and the barriers to entry for competitors were far higher than they are with internet sites.

        This isn’t about internet sites. This is about search engines, one of which has more market share than all others combined. There are millions of internet sites, only a small handful of significant search engines. The barrier to putting up a web site is minuscule. The barrier to meaningfully entering the search engine space is so big that not even Microsoft can overcome it.

        The manner in which you blatantly twist the narrative saddens and frankly, sickens me. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • “The manner in which you blatantly twist the narrative saddens and frankly, sickens me”
        I straighten the narrative.

        ” The barrier to meaningfully entering the search engine space is so big that not even Microsoft can overcome it.”
        Not true.
        “As of November 2015, Bing is the second largest desktop search engine in the US, with a query volume of 20.9%, behind Google on 63.9%.”

        Wiki gives here a list of 14 general current search engines, of which four are Chinese.

        In the heyday of the press, it operated locally. Many cities and regions had just one or two newspapers, often owned by a chain such as Hearst. Competitors to Google can be accessed worldwide.

      • As always, filtering is good, so long as the stuff I disagree with is the stuff being suppressed.

      • Nick Stokes;
        I straighten the narrative.

        What you do is sell out your fellow human beings.

        As of November 2015, Bing is the second largest desktop search engine in the US, with a query volume of 20.9%, behind Google on 63.9%

        Kinda proves my point. Two search engines between them have just shy of 85% of the traffic. Why? BECAUSE THE BARRIER TO ENTRY IS MASSIVE. Google has more than everyone else COMBINED. Not even Microsoft can be characterized as a true rival. At only 21% they don’t have the power to shape public opinion, Google does.

        You continue to blather on about the press, which has nothing to do with this discussion. You complain about regulating when I never said anything about regulating. You tried to equate putting up a web site with putting up a search engine. Everything about your responses is suggestive of a well paid troll. You constantly inject irrelevant and misleading information into the discussion, put words in other people’s mouths, and you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time doing it.

        MODERATOR – Perhaps all of Nicks comments should be moved to the bottom of every thread? He seems to think that’s an OK way to run things. Perhaps a taste of his own medicine is in order?

      • at the bottom and put behind a button warning the reader that by clicking on the button they will be subjected to “wrongthink”. that is the kind of 1984 behavior Nick endorses.

    • Across many disciplines you can find experts that don’t agree on the correct answer to a problem or subject. Who is it to say that one expert wouldn’t call another experts take on a particular subject to be wrong, and thus “misinformation”. They then use their self-anointed power remove the “misinformation” from the public record.

      One only needs to look at history to see how such totalitarian actions end.

      One can quite easily guess the political leanings of a person that would agree that such actions are needed and for the public good. Interestingly, not long ago, it was people from the political left that accused conservatives of silencing science by removing unagreeable content from the public record. I guess turn around is fair play?

    • Nick,
      It is using a logical inconsistency called “appeal to authority”. Who appointed them as the authority to determine what is right and what is wrong? These so-called “scientific” academies are abusing their positions of authority by silencing dissenting voices. They are not just highlighting information that they feel is misleading, they are using the monopolistic power of Google to quash those who disagree with the currently accepted paradigm. This is anti-science at its finest, pure and simple.

      Qudos to Willis Eschenbach for speaking out!

      • “Who appointed them as the authority to determine what is right and what is wrong?”
        Who appointed you? Who appointed anyone who expresses a view about what is right or wrong? You can do it, unappointed, and so can they. And they know things.

        “These so-called “scientific” academies are abusing their positions of authority by silencing dissenting voices.”
        They are disagreeing. That isn’t silencing. Plenty here disagree with them.

        “they are using the monopolistic power of Google”
        Google doesn’t have monopolistic power. They have the power that comes from running a search engine that people like.

      • Yes, they do Nick.

        “A pure monopoly is defined as a single supplier. While there only a few cases of pure monopoly, monopoly ‘power’ is much more widespread, and can exist even when there is more than one supplier – such in markets with only two firms, called a duopoly, and a few firms, an oligopoly.”
        from https://economicsonline.co.uk/Market_failures/Monopoly_power.html

        the search engine market is an oligopoly and at 60+% of that Market, Google most definitely has monopolistic power

    • The climate change movement in and of itself is totalitarian. Does this really need to be explained?

    • You’re not aware that Twitter and FakeBook are already censoring conservative comments and interrupting the income stream of popular conservative blogs?

    • Really? Are you happy for Nick Stokes’ work to be declared”misinformation” by a self-appointed group such as this?

      Go on then, prove it. Tell everybody your work is misinformation. Put it on Google that it is.

      If not, then really, do stop being stupid.

      • “Are you happy for Nick Stokes’ work to be declared”misinformation” by a self-appointed group such as this?”
        Some say that.ThaIt is, of course, misinformed. But there is no use getting unhappy about it. All you can do is put your case as well as you can. You can’t please everyone.

    • Because “saying so” is never proper in science! If they find something they feel is wrong then experiments, studies or whatever is the proper method of finding an answer should be performed to determine what is correct. Only with proper physical evidence proving something is false should one declare something is wrong.
      Too much “science” is now done based on models rather than actual physical experimentation. As an engineer I would use a model for obtaining preliminary information but would never design, build and put in service something without collecting actual physical data. This is why “saying so” just doesn’t cut it!

    • What can be wrong if I stand in front of your house with a placard, telling people that I’m not quite sure if you are a child-molester, but that I”ll check it?

  6. Google doesn’t have absolute power – everyone is a click away from other services like https://duckduckgo.com

    Instead of trying to change Google, we should simply walk away. As long as Google provided a useful service I was happy to use that service. Now that service is becoming less useful, we all have a reason to look elsewhere.

    Don’t waste energy trying to convince extremist liberals they are wrong – leave them to their echo chamber, find useful services elsewhere.

    If we vote with our feet, it won’t matter if Google “disappears” someone’s work – any work disappeared by Google will diminish Google, not the work they disappear.

    • Thanks, Eric, but I fear it’s not that simple. Google processes about 3.5 billion searches per day. Duckduckgo processes about 21 million, which is much less than 1% of Google’s traffic. And while switched on folks might move to Duckduckgo , and they might double or triple the DDG searches … so what? If they tripled the DDG searches that would bring them to less than 2% of Google’s reach … as far as the larger world would notice, DDG doesn’t even exist.

      And that doesn’t even begin to cover the trouble with censorship of Facebook and Twitter, where both platforms are already censoring conservative political views and what is laughably called “hate speech” … and where there is no real alternative.

      Next, you say:

      Don’t waste energy trying to convince extremist liberals they are wrong – leave them to their echo chamber, find useful services elsewhere.

      Not my style. I fight for what I think is right. I’d rather light one candle than curse the darkness …

      Best regards,

      w.

      • Hi Willis, I understand your concern, and the problem of current imbalance between Google and Duck Duck Go, my point is, let market forces redress the imbalance.

        Google maintains its dominance by the free choice of its users. But there is no natural monopoly – people are free to choose alternatives.

        Sooner or later people will get fed up with being force fed liberal propaganda.

        The problem with advocating government intervention to ensure the “fairness” of content is that sooner or later it comes back to bite you. Imagine what someone like President Obama could do with a “fairness” law introduced by Republicans, if he wanted to target sites like WUWT.

      • “Google processes about 3.5 billion searches per day. Duckduckgo processes about 21 million”
        Sounds like people, free to choose, prefer the way Google filters information.

      • anyone remember altavista search? ..didn’t think so. Maybe it 10 years time people will be asking “GOOgle, seriously whaa.. people “GOOGled” for information??? bwahahahaha oh man that’s so funny.. let me just Duckduck that .. I think you’re pulling my leg..”

      • they so called market forces are dominated by a fallacy that affirmations or clicks are well correlated with purchases.
        some businesses have already found out that when they cut out internet advertising it does not affect their bottom line significantly.
        i think most of the clicks are done for self.affirmation and tribal signaling. the millenials are eating up the fantasies of ‘when they rule the world’. they are numerous. they are unemployed.
        i’m waiting for the dotcom.clickbait.bubble to burst any time.

      • “Sounds like people, free to choose, prefer the way Google filters information.”

        So you would be happy for every sceptic in the US and the UK to post stuff about you that said your work is false news and misinformation? And to keep doing it? And then just let Google filter all of that?

        Come on then Nick, put your reputation where your mouth is. Say we can it.

    • All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. (Attributed to Edmund Burke)

    • Eric,

      Thanks for the link. I agree with Willis on his principled stance, but I just voted with my e-feet and installed DDG. Actually, I never (or hardly ever) used Goggles anyway. I mostly use Yahoo! (hope that’s not owned by Goggles).

  7. Google is seriously inviting FTC anti-trust action against themselves. As well as election law violations, as much of the purported “misinformation” is quite politically aligned, so suppression of some points of view as misinformation could be considered a contribution to a political party (and we all know which one!).

    • google is not suppressing anything. It has the right to build a database of links to whatever websites it likes. Not linking to a website might make it impossible to find but the website still exists and if you know the URL you would be able to access it. And as others have mentioned google is not the only search engine out there.

      I doubt however that anything will come out of this. Youtube which is owned by google makes its money from extremists on all sides. More people watch videos that claim the earth is flat or that the moon landings were faked than videos claiming the opposite. So google has a definite bias towards letting misinformation rule.

      • Argument by assertion? Pray tell, how is not placing politically disfavored results several pages down not suppressing them? On some subjects, ignoring the first few pages on Google is the only way to start to find actual results.

      • “More people watch videos that claim the earth is flat or that the moon landings were faked than videos claiming the opposite. So google has a definite bias towards letting misinformation rule”

        If you make that kind of statement without a citation or link to support it, you just jumped without a parachute again-
        Geronimo-o-o-o-o…
        Can you break your fall by backing that up or flapping your arms?

      • germinio says:
        ” Google or at least youtube has no real interest in promoting truth since that would cut into its advertising budget.”
        one wonders if he may extend his comprehension to include huffpo… lol

      • Well yes, because who needs to watch a video that shows the Earth is round?

        I watch videos about stuff I don’t know far more than stuff I do know – don’t you?

        Your stats are silly, and do not prove what you claim.

      • Actually, YouTube is smarter. Rather than suppress extremist views, they let those slide and restrict well reasoned videos that don’t follow their pre-approved group think, seemingly in fear that open minded folk may be swayed by thoughtful analysis. For reference, please check out how YouTube has restricted Prager U videos, then watch a few of the 30+ Prager videos subject to that restriction. Having done that, p!ease come back and tell me that google isn’t trying to manipulate how the public sees issues. It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye put out!

    • “FTC anti-trust action against themselves”

      The DMCA act specifically protects information carriers from legal action as a result of the material carried by their customers over their systems. However, that protection disappears if the company modifies the material. By filtering out material that Google doesn’t like, they will become responsible for all of the material they continue to carry.

      I, personally, hope that Google abandons this ill thought out censorship program before it gets that far. The whole world would be poorer if they carry on with it.

      • How is the material modified here?

        What if instead of “filtering”, Google just sends deniar websites (and those with “ideation”) to the tenth page?

      • “However, that protection disappears if the company modifies the material. By filtering out material”

        Are you saying that a spam filter on webmail service makes the service responsible for content?

        That makes no sense what so ever.

  8. Willis
    Will they who W. is ?
    I thought you preferred total disclosure. :-)

    Google has stated for some time that they are moving in the direction of removing fake news / dissenting views and becoming the “truth providers”. Now they have willing partners in the groups detailed in your head post. There are alternative search engines available. The only way to stop them is to not use them, like thats going to happen.

    Edward Snowden stated recently that “they have re-branded surveillance companies as social media companies”, the same applies to Google.

    https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/64571/edward-snowden-facebook-is-a-surveillance-company-rebranded-as-social.html

    and another on disinformation
    https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/64586/facebook-chief-security-officer-quits-after-clashing-over-spread-of.html

    Regards

  9. Are the “National Academies of Science”, well, US related?

    Wouldn’t the whole project make Google an effective federal agency subject to FOIA or even executive decrees?

      • Nick Stokes March 21, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        “85% of the NAS funding is from the government”

        Doesn’t make it subject to FOIA.

        Pause while I look back to see if I’d said one damn word about the FOIA … nope. Not one word. Pure misdirection on Nick’s part.

        Nick, this reminds me of why you got your nickname. For those who don’t know him, years ago Nick was given the nickname “Racehorse” Stokes. This was in honor of the famous Texas lawyer Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, who once said:

        “Say you sue me because you claim my dog bit you. Well now, this is my defense:

        My dog doesn’t bite.

        And second, in the alternative, my dog was tied up that night.

        And third, I don’t believe you really got bit.

        And fourth [here he broke into a sly grin], I don’t have a dog.”

        If you understand that Nick bringing up the FOIA when I said nothing about it is just him claiming that he doesn’t have a dog, it all makes perfect sense …

        w.

      • Willis,
        “Pause while I look back to see if I’d said one damn word about the FOIA”
        Yes, you only look at what you said. You didn’t bother to look at what I was replying to. It was just above, a query by “s-t”:
        “Wouldn’t the whole project make Google an effective federal agency subject to FOIA or even executive decrees?”
        To which my logical and relevant answer was
        “NAS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organisation.”
        That’s where you came in.

      • Well you can’t have it both ways. You say that is then a wholly self-appointed group. And that wholly self-appointed group is going to decide what science is “information” and what science is “disinformation”.

        Yet you say you have no problem with that. But you refuse to say why.

      • Nick Stokes March 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm

        NAS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organisation.

        Willis Eschenbach March 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

        Nick, 85% of the NAS funding is from the government. The idea that it is somehow “non-governmental” is a joke. The man who pays the piper calls the tune …

        w.

        Nick Stokes March 21, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        “85% of the NAS funding is from the government”

        Doesn’t make it subject to FOIA.

        Nick Stokes March 22, 2018 at 1:40 am

        Willis,

        “Pause while I look back to see if I’d said one damn word about the FOIA”

        Yes, you only look at what you said. You didn’t bother to look at what I was replying to. It was just above, a query by “s-t”:

        Racehorse, you QUOTED MY WORDS immediately before your response. Our responses were one after the other. If you were not responding to me, why on earth would you quote what I said and NOT quote whoever you now claim you were responding to?

        This whole new objection of yours is just the latest incarnation of you telling us …

        And fourth [here he broke into a sly grin], I don’t have a dog.”

        We got it, Nick. You don’t have a dog no matter what anyone says. Rule 1 is that Nick “Racehorce” Stokes is always right, and when you are wrong … see Rule #1, you don’t have a dog …

        w.

      • Willis,
        All this shows is that you butted in without reading the context. There was a question about whether Google, by joining a project with NAS, might become subject to FOIA. I responded that NAS is a non-government organisation (and so not subject to FOIA). You came in with a comment about their funding – I pointed out that this was not relevant to the issue of FOIA. Then you go on with
        “Pause while I look back to see if I’d said one damn word about the FOIA … nope. Not one word. Pure misdirection on Nick’s part.”
        and launch into tired old Racehorse stuff.

      • Nick Stokes March 22, 2018 at 4:48 pm

        Willis,
        All this shows is that you butted in without reading the context. There was a question about whether Google, by joining a project with NAS, might become subject to FOIA. I responded that NAS is a non-government organisation (and so not subject to FOIA). You came in with a comment about their funding – I pointed out that this was not relevant to the issue of FOIA. Then you go on with
        “Pause while I look back to see if I’d said one damn word about the FOIA … nope. Not one word. Pure misdirection on Nick’s part.”
        and launch into tired old Racehorse stuff.

        We got it, Nick. You don’t have a dog. In response to my comment, you quoted me, and now you are claiming you were answering someone else, someone you didn’t quote … yep, you don’t have a dog, and once again, Racehorse Stokes is 100% right.

        Color me unsurprised …

        w.

      • So a nonprofit could get 99% of its funding from the gov and still be a completely independent entity free of any legal oversight from citizens?

        Seems great. Does the mafia know the trick?

  10. Holy Crap is right. Orwellian nationalization of the sciences industries.

    How do we get away from Google/YouTube and FB? Rumor was that Peter Thiel was working on something.

  11. I read recently, here I think, that scientists don’t want to share the data and methods they used to arrive at their claims and predictions. So they are going to hand over this stuff to this group?
    Someone remind me, was it Atlas Shrugged or Fountainhead with the govt Department of Science?

    • They will probably excuse pal-reviewed facts from scrutiny to save time and resources. Anything that follows the politically correct meme is auto-passed while all else is declared invalid, because the controlling clique only respects authority.

  12. Unfortunately, many scientific claims are nonsense, which will be discovered by freedom of speech.
    Dr. Corynen

  13. Agree with W. that it is vital to fight against this suppression, but there is the possibility that the Information Age might develop in parallel pipelines much like alternative news media outflanking liberal bias. Certainly not the ideal situation, to say the least, and shameful to a so-called free society.

  14. Is there any opposition from within the membership of the NAS, NAE or NAM?

    Please say that somebody within those organisations understands how wrong headed this is, and is prepared to do something about it.

    The proper focus would be on the improvement of the quality of science and processes such as peer review. This seems unmistakably improper.

    And Nick Stokes backs it to the hilt. The defence rests.

    • “Is there any opposition from within the membership of the NAS, NAE or NAM?”

      Unfortunately, as we’ve seen here time and time again, most members who disagree simply take the coward’s way out, and quit.

  15. What are they going ro do? Burn every copy of misinformation? Strip the author of his degrees? Burn him in a cage on a public street? P Strike out all references to his published work? The possibilities are endless, and they have all been tried in history by those in power. These organizations have accumulated power in the hands of a very small elite who have taken over control the official of policy approval. The result is many organizations supporting the false idea that carbon dioxide causes global warming. They have no idea of what science has to say about it but simply repeat the fallacy that greenhouse warming creates global warning. They are so stupid that bif you put proof to the contrary in front of their noses they have no idea of what they are looking at. Here is an example. Take a good look at the global temperature curve and the global carbon dioxide curve displayed by HadCRUT3 and similar temperature distribution curves. What do you see? First of all, the carbon dioxide cure from the eighteen hundreds till the end of the twentieth century is smooth, free entirely of any zig-zags, and down swings. It does have a slight upward curvature, but this is easily understood as caused by constant addition of COP2 by human activities. Not so with the parallel global temperature curve: it has zig-zags, up and down swings and regions where warming changes to cooling and vice versa. The greenhouse effect they venerate tells us that greenhouse gases absorb radiant energy from the sun, get warm, and give that warmth to surrounding gas molecules. Hence. air temperature must follow the temperature changes of the greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide and other lesser ones like methane etc. But there is absolutely no indication of it in the HadCRUT3 temperature chart. Global temperature may go up or down for periods as long as 30 years and may change from warming to cooling periodically. Cooling was prevalent from the 1880-s until 1910. Then it changed to warming from 1910 to 1940, a thirty-year stretch, Cooling returned in 1940 with the start if WW2 cold period. There is absolutely no indication that carbon dioxide had anything to do with these global temperature changes: carbon dioxide pays not the slightest attenrion to such changes that require addition of GH.. Nor does it pay attention to start of cooling in 1940 that requires reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. It’s curve is smooth and stays smooth through temperature changes throughout the HadCRUT3 observation period. From these simple naked-eye observations we can say for sure that carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect had nothing whatsoever to do with tje observed global temperature changes. To insist that these temperature changers are caused ny the greenhouse effect is to spread misinformation by by false authority. So-called “climate scientist” who don’t know what climate science are not smart enough to spot it and comsequebtly have their research directed by misinformation. The greenhouse theory may still ne a fine theory but in science we go by observations, not by unverified or misapplied theories.

  16. But every lefty KNOWS someone has to police ‘science’ and ‘information’ lest we are told wrong things, and Google are so nice with their 😈’Do no Evil’ 😈, so why not let them?
    :devil:

  17. Nick Stokes, I fear you are missing my point, likely my lack of clarity. Let me try again

    It is anti-scientific for any group to set themselves up as judges to declare scientific claims “misinformation”.

    I don’t care what the group is, or what they do afterwards. Science is not decided by votes, no matter how much you might wish it might be. Science is not decided by the National Institutes of Anything. It is a search for facts, not a quest for conformity of opinion. When a pamphlet was published entitled “100 Authors Against Einstein”, Einstein famously retorted “If I were wrong, one would be enough.” Science is not settled by consensus or by the endorsements of committees at the NAS.

    And most specifically, science is not decided and should never be decided by Google, Twitter and Facebook.

    Now, if this were just the Harper Valley PTA deciding that evolution shouldn’t be taught in their local school because it is “misinformation”, that would be no big thing. Not good, but not all that important.

    But we are talking about Google, Facebook, and Twitter, which are huge entities … and you acting like them getting in the game is some trivial minor thing is a sad joke. You know for a fact how powerful they are both individually and as a group.

    Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already started slanting their results away from conservative views and toward liberal views. Numbers of conservative voices have been banned and silenced on all three platforms. Wake up and smell the coffee, what you say won’t happen is already happening.

    So yes, Nick, this is a very, very worrisome direction that the NAS/NAE/NAM/Google are taking, no matter how hard you might try to claim otherwise …

    w.

    • Willis,
      “It is anti-scientific for any group to set themselves up as judges to declare scientific claims “misinformation”.”
      They do it all the time. Every journal review process is a test of the correctness of the information contained. People expect that. It’s what they pay for in subscribing to a journal. The journal doesn’t suppress what it thinks is wrong. It just declines to commend it to its readers. It filters what it chooses to communicate. This has been true since the origins of scientific publication.

      The suggestion here is that scientific bodies should supplement their positive recommendations with negative ones where they think information circulating is wrong. I see no difference in principle.

      As said above, Google exists to rank information according to what they think users want. There is already a quality filter. There is a huge amount of junk on the internet, and Google helps sift it. Everyone thinks there is junk; they don’t agree on what should be included. That is Google’s business; to adopt a policy that keeps it used. They have been very successful at that.

      Most people won’t agree that NAS advice is political. But even with political material, ranking has to be done. Again, that is Google’s business decision. They don’t owe it to you to respect your preferences. There are other providers.

      • Are deliberately missing the point or actually far dumber than I thought?

        When a journal publishes a paper, it is not saying that everything that disagrees with that paper is disinformation.It is not even saying that the paper is not disinformation.And it is certainly not saying that THIS journal is the ONLY journal that publishes the truth.

        We have multiple journals which publish multiple papers, often disagreeing with each other. Single journals publish a paper then publish a paper disagreeing with the previous one. That’s how it works.

        This proposal would allow self-appointed gatekeepers to declare a published paper disinformation. IS that really, actually what you want?

      • Old Nick* indeed; stoking the fires of hell!

        The suggestion here is that scientific bodies should supplement their positive recommendations with negative ones where they think information circulating is wrong. I see no difference in principle.- Nick Stokes

        I find your positon creepy in the extreme.

        What is truly frightening to me, is that you might genuinely believe what you have written here. I’m clinging to the tiny hope that you are a shill for the machine but “know not what [you] do”!

        If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

        Twain’s famous quote is ironically illustrative in this context, because it is apocryphal!

        It is the “doubting Thomases”, Thomas Fuller(1662) and later Thomas Jefferson(1807) that have my ear and my heart.

        …I had rather my Reader should arise hungry from my Book, than surfeited therewith; rather uninformed than misinformed thereby; rather ignorant of what he desireth, than having a falsehood, or (at the best) a conjecture for a truth obtruded upon him.” – Thomas Fuller

        And in reference to newspapers:

        Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.

        I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false. – Thomas Jefferson

        However, Mark Twain does cut straight to the chase:

        Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth. – Mark Twain

        IMHO:

        I prefer to be informed but I fear being misinformed more then I fear being uninformed! – Scott Wilmot Bennett

        *The Devil

      • “It is not even saying that the paper is not disinformation.”
        Yes it is. I am sure that every journal would say that papers that they publish are not disinformation.

        “This proposal would allow self-appointed gatekeepers to declare a published paper disinformation.”
        People are doing that or equivalent all the time. Even here at WUWT. Though I doubt that the NAS focus is on disinformation in papers in reputable journals.

        The thing is though that they aren’t gatekeepers of disinformation. There isn’t a gate. They can say what they think.

      • In Nick’s world, not printing something in a journal is the equivalent to disappearing views you don’t agree with.

      • It would be wise to remember that google has already seen fit to terminate an employee (engineer James Damore) for a thought crime. If you didn’t find that incident chilling, I doubt there is any hope for you.

      • Dave Liggett March 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        It would be wise to remember that google has already seen fit to terminate an employee (engineer James Damore) for a thought crime. If you didn’t find that incident chilling, I doubt there is any hope for you.

        Dave, that’s why I said to Nick up above:

        Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already started slanting their results away from conservative views and toward liberal views. Numbers of conservative voices have been banned and silenced on all three platforms. Wake up and smell the coffee, what you say won’t happen is already happening.

        In addition, YouTube, owned by Google, is censoring Prager U and all gun videos … but noooo, Nick says that censorship is not an issue, they just want to identify the scientific “misinformation”, viz:

        What is underhanded here? They are saying that they’ll check on what is being said, and if they think it is wrong, they will say so. How is that “totalitarian”?

        Yeah, right …

        w.

    • Willis,

      “It is anti-scientific for any group to set themselves up as judges to declare scientific claims “misinformation”.”
      They do it all the time. Every journal review process is a test of the correctness of the information contained.

      Oh, get real. You know damn well we’re not talking about the peer-review process. We’re talking about the NAS and Google, two extremely powerful organizations, not three unknown specialist peer-reviewers working for some obscure journal.

      You can piss on my boots, Nick, but you can’t convince me it’s raining. Give up on the misdirection, it’s not working.

      w.

  18. Nick is going full troll here. Perhaps, when he is in his elder years sitting in a “private corporation’s” memory care facility, that he will appreciate people from outside that corporation that have set protocols in place so that he is not placed in a situation where he might be traumatized by poor elder care practices that the ‘private corporations’ have deemed as Usual Customary and Reasonable (within their sphere of authoritarian judgement.)

  19. I am letting my AAAS membership lapse in April. They keep sending me letters and emails reminded me to “pay-up” to continue to support Science.

    Science editorial staff and AAAS president have gone so far off the rails, it is time for the members to let them sink and quit. Writing them letters and emails have fallen on deaf ears at AAAS, just as they did at APS for the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Ivar Giaever.

  20. Germinio March 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    So Willis if I am understanding you correctly a real crime is anything that you think is a crime and an imaginary crime is anything that you think should be legal but is actually illegal in some jurisdiction. This is not a very workable definition. Nor are your examples particular useful …

    Pass. You don’t get it. That’s OK. Not worth trying.

    w.

  21. OKay, while you’re having panic attacks over this, there are a few things to consider.

    If Google’s head honchos think it’s okay to allow pron on the internet, and they do all the time, then who are they to judge what is and is not “scientifically correct:”?????

    Google is NOT the only search engine in the world.

    Goodle is just as subject to a charge of violation of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution as anyone else. The 1st Amendment includes freedom of speech, freedom of the press, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    The day Goodle takes trash like Antifa’s crap off the internet, I may actually find a molecule of respect for them, somewhere in my kitchen drawer.

    If Goodle is willing to support the mendacious behavior of the left-leaning media and their fabrications and disgusting parade of children over the Parkland, FL school shooting, when everything those creatures posted was a lie, as was shown 32 hours later, then how can Goodle justify denying public access to dissenting opinions in the world of science? Seriously, who died and made them God?

    Yes, I spelled it Goodle, and I did that on purpose. If you have your own server, your stuff can’t disappear, no matter what they think. It is NOT the only search engine available.

    This desperate attempt by NAS to block competitive ideas and opinions is a clear indication of a weak position held by people who are afraid of, and do not want, any competition of any kind. Well, this ain’t the Soviet Union, and if they don’t like the competition, they should look for other jobs. But I doubt that your stuff published on the internet will be unavailable. I’ve found obscure things that I didn’t know existed that are not visited very often.

  22. If you want to take the first step on promoting dissemination of scientific views that are contrary to a supposed consensus view or which may involve “misinformation” according to an opposing authoritative view, I strongly urge you WUWT readers to sign the White House petition for the Internet Bill of Rights. Shades of Galileo!

    The National Academies of Science, of Engineering, and of Medicine propose to counter misinformation by partnering with Google. They and other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook currently already exercise such censorship actions as cutting off followers, stopping advertising revenues, eliminating videos, etc. for such reasons as politically conservative beliefs and practices. Don’t let this happen to science!

    Two petitions are currently available. Signing any petition involves submitting your name and email on the websites below AND then clicking on the link in the acknowledgement email the White House sends you in order to confirm receipt. You can sign one or both of them; apparently you don’t have to be a US citizen to sign the petition.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/internet-bill-rights-2
    Internet Bill of Rights – Created by A.M. on March 04, 2018 – Needs 71,361 signatures by April 3, 2018 to get a response from the White House

    “Internet forums and social networks which provide free access to the public are a digital place of assembly, and individuals using such methods for public communication should not be subjected to censorship due to political beliefs or differing ideas. Conservative voices on many large public website platforms are being censored, based solely on a differing opinion. Some of these platforms further employ tracking mechanisms for monitoring an individual’s digital history, which can be used to censor the individual’s public communication through various censorship practices, sometimes without knowledge or awareness. These actions directly violate personal liberty and stand at contrast with the bill of rights. We the people demand action to bring our digital future into the light.”

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/internet-bill-rights-4
    INTERNET BILL OF RIGHTS – Created by B.M. on March 05, 2018 – Needs 99,486 signatures by April 4, 2018 to get a response from the White House

    “In an age where many citizens communicate with each other and receive the news from media that did not exist upon our founding; it is necessary to protect the rights of ALL Americans using the Internet (and its platforms) including but not limited to (online):

    Freedom of speech, expression, graphics and video
    Freedom of association
    Freedom of the press
    Freedom from unfounded censorship or expulsion from platforms
    Freedom of religious expression
    Freedom to remain anonymous

    The founders made ‘Freedom of Speech’ the 1st amendment for a reason. It’s time we protect our rights online with an Internet Bill of Rights.”

    Please promote the marketplace of ideas in science!

    • “Internet forums and social networks which provide free access to the public are a digital place of assembly”
      WUWT is one such. Do you really want to create a government apparatus which would give people unwanted by the proprietor a right of free access?

      “Some of these platforms further employ tracking mechanisms for monitoring an individual’s digital history”
      Wordpress does that. So does Disqus etc. Does that “directly violate personal liberty”?

  23. Thank you Mr.Eschenbach for all of your great scientific work presented here and elsewhere and for your ardent defense of true scientific principles. Any control over information is mind control. Just as the infamous fictitious entity IT in the book “A Wrinkle In Time” sought total mind control, so too do the overlords of the internet today seek to mold the thoughts of the masses. This is being accomplished in China with censorship of unapproved content just for example and companies like Google are cooperating. It is this threat of absolute concentrated power that freedom loving people despise and it must be opposed.

    If I say that the speed of light is an absolute law and not one single atom in the universe can violate that law, who is to say this viewpoint is wrong? But I can’t be proven wrong with any known evidence to date, only suppressed.

    The scientific method requires the free and open exchange of ideas. Superheroes with superpowers don’t exist but they sure are used a lot to promote science to make learning fun and to bend minds to challenge what is possible. I can understand the misguided (IMHO) desire to only allow valid scientific concepts into the minds of the masses in an attempt to improve society. But the danger lies in the usurpation of our systems by totalitarian minded elitists. There are certainly bad ideas floating around on the internet which presents a challenge to our society and especially to young people to find truth. The response to this challenge I do not claim to know, but I vote against totalitarianism and instead would encourage the organizations to find a way to shine as beacons of light and truth which can only occur when dissent and discourse are allowed.

  24. I feel the same way about Wikipedia.

    After years of Googling WUWT to see if it was a legit website to tell me the truth about global warming and climate change, I would go to Wikipedia to read the result – because I trusted Wikipedia to tell the truth because it was supposedly an encyclopedia with a higher accuracy rating than Encyclopaedia Britannica.
    When Wikipedia consistently said that WUWT was a website comprised of amateurish climate deniers, I stayed away. For years. I just trusted what Wikipedia told me.

    Finally one day a few years ago, I thought I would take a peak and look at WUWT, and I was pleasantly surprised that there were some very insightful people writing without censorship. (Now that presents other problems, but not for this comment – just referring to some wing nuts who are allowed to comment here)

    So now I am a bit pissed with both Wikipedia and Google for forwarding me misinformation all these years. First for Google to present Wikipedia as the top search for my question, and then Wikipedia for slandering WUWT into thinking a completely naive person seeking truth about the WUWT blog, if it was worth pursuing.

    I missed some of the best years of WUWT because of a coordinated misinformation campaign by both Google and Wikipedia. I agree the same setup is going on here now, in 2018. Very Orwellian. Very concerning.

    • It is not Wiki but a small number of activists who try to ensure that their views are the ones shown on certain entries. As with so many activists, they think their opinions are far more valid than anybody eles’s and know no doubt, I read last year about a single guy who corrected 47,000 entries on Wikipedia because he doesn’t like the phrase “comprised of”.

      It seems to pass him by that grarmmar is just how we use language, so if we use that phrase, it can only be correct.

      • It is Wiki who allows a small number of activists to control content that Wiki is satisfied with. Obviously, it is Wiki who makes the decision on larger issues to label who is a Denier, as they have done with WUWT.

        Watts Up With That? (or WUWT) is a blog[1] promoting climate change denial[2][3][4][5][6] that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.[2][3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Up_With_That%3F

  25. With Google funding the NAS, NAE, and NAM “… are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health.”

    To the extent that these agencies of the US Government collude with Google to limit constitutionally protected speech, continued funding by Government of these agencies would violate the First Amendment.

    “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

    These agencies can choose to be funded by government or by Google, but if they collude with Google in censoring free speech then they cannot be funded by government.

  26. Thank you Willis for your efforts. I agree with your position.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/01/british-snow-chaos-running-out-of-gas/comment-page-1/#comment-2755747

    ]excerpt]

    My bottom line is:
    Educated and experienced professionals like me have known since about 1985 that global warming alarmism was a false crisis, and that the warmists’ green energy schemes would not replace fossil fuels. We spoke out and wrote articles stating these facts, sometimes at great personal cost, and we were ignored and vilified.

    Leading skeptics including Dr Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian) and Dr Pat Michaels (U of Virginia) and many others were forced from their universities by people too vile to be named. Other leading skeptics including Dr Richard Lindzen (MIT) and Dr Willie Soon (Harvard-Smithsonian) were persecuted but were able to hang on to their positions.

    Tens of trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on this obvious scam, enough money to bribe countless corrupt politicians, government officials and academics. The result has been an avoidable huge increase in electrical costs, the destabilizing of electrical grids due to intermittent wind and solar power, and the premature deaths of millions due to dysfunctional energy policies and the misallocation of tens of trillions of dollars that could have been used to improve lives and alleviate human suffering.

    These corrupt warmist scoundrels have committed unforgivable crimes against humanity and they belong in jail.

    Regards, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/27/a-big-goose-step-backwards/#comment-1800850

    Here is a list of those forced from their institutions by global warming thugs:

    George Taylor – Oregon State Climatologist

    Sallie Baliunas – Harvard Smithsonian

    Pat Michaels – University of Virginia

    Murry Salby – Macquarie University, Australia

    Caleb Rossiter – Institute for Policy Studies

    Nickolas Drapela, PhD – Oregon State University

    Henrik Møller – Aalborg University, Denmark

    Bob Carter, James Cook University, Australia

    Regards, Allan

    • Looks like my post is in moderation again.

      I wonder what would happen if I wrote how I really felt. :-)

      Seriously moderators, thank you for the excellent and dedicated work that you do

      Best, Allan

  27. Almost certainly this sort of thing would have prevented two recent Nobel Prize winners getting recognition.

    Dan Shechtman (quasi-crystals) says:” I was a subject of ridicule and lectures about the basics of crystallography. The leader of the opposition to my findings was the two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, the idol of the American Chemical Society and one of the most famous scientists in the world. For years, ’til his last day, he fought against quasi-periodicity in crystals.”

    Pauling wrote: “There is no such thing as quasi-crystals, only quasi-scientists”.

    So which view would count as “disinformation” n this instance do we think? Would National academies side against Pauling?

    Barry Marshall suffered as badly. His paper in 1983 got turned down, reviewers ranked in the bottom 10% of those they received that year. Marshall later said: “(e)veryone was against me, but I knew I was right.” He struggled to get papers published, and even the it was usually one paper against hundreds claiming ulcers were caused by stress.

    Again, Marshall’s claims were dismissed as the equivalent of disinformation.

    Yes, you also get the MMR rubbish, but the process shows that it works if you let it.

    • Phoenix44 March 22, 2018 at 4:37 am
      Almost certainly this sort of thing would have prevented two recent Nobel Prize winners getting recognition.

      Dan Shechtman (quasi-crystals) says:” I was a subject of ridicule and lectures about the basics of crystallography. The leader of the opposition to my findings was the two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, the idol of the American Chemical Society and one of the most famous scientists in the world. For years, ’til his last day, he fought against quasi-periodicity in crystals.”

      Linus, who was himself prevented from having a passport to visit the UK by the State Department on the grounds that he might be a communist.
      Schechtman was able to publish his paper on quasi-crystals within two years of his discovery. His results were quickly replicated by other groups and it was soon Linus who was unable to get his papers on the subject published.

  28. So NAS is going to become the nascent ‘Ministry of Truth’? Even better they will be the tribunal that will judge future/present Galileos.

  29. The Latest: Zuckerberg says it’s time to regulate tech firms

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he believes it’s time to impose more regulations on technology companies as they play an increasingly important role in the world. But he isn’t spelling what kind of rules he would support beyond requiring clear disclosure about who is paying for online ads.

    Zuckerberg told CNN in an interview late Wednesday that it no longer is a question whether Facebook and other large tech companies should be more closely regulated. Instead, he says lawmakers need to work with companies to figure out what regulations make the most sense.

    Excerpted from: https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/the-latest-zuckerberg-says-its-time-to-regulate-tech-firms

    “HA”, I really don’t think there is very many lawmakers that are interested in “things” that make the most sense, ….. but on the contrary, ……. most lawmakers are only interested in “things” that makes them the most cents.

    • Isn’t that what they call a “blocking bet”?

      Who pays for an ad… then what if that’s just a shell company? They will follow with who funds it?

      Where does the transparency initiative stop?

  30. “About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, and funds provided by the Academies member organizations.”

    As I had suspected, funded by the taxpayers. Cut their funding.

  31. Nick Stokes March 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm
    “Googles business is advertising.”
    Google’s business is getting people to look at the advertisements. And to do that, they have to provide search results that people want. If Duckduckgogo can do that better, they will be the next Google. But for the moment, Google is providing what their users want.

    No.

    Google is providing what their users THINK they want. Many (most?) Google users may not be aware that the results they are provided are not unbiased, unfiltered, or accurately representing information and, may even be advertiser slanted.

    Now, Google wants to pay these scientific organization so Google can say, “it is not us who is filtering the information, it is these esteemed scientific organizations”.

    End result will be to stifle legitimate scientific discourse.

    I see the only people who would be supportive of Google’s proposal to NAS, NAE, and NAM would be those who aren’t involved in legitimate scientific discourse.

  32. This is the first step on the way to control thinking. I grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. It was a state where the state was the only employer; vegetable stands, alterations, shoe repair shops, farms – that was all nationalized. Then the Party wanted everybody including me to denounce a horrible counter-revolutionary pamphlet “Charter 77”, written by a sneaky dissident Vaclav Havel (later a President). I asked to read it before signing the petition. No way, comrade, don’t you trust us? are you really a comrade? And now I live at the other side of Atlantic Ocean.

    The idea of National Academies probably was not a bad one, but the clowns running them did discredit it totally. They have to be abolished. They could be founded again, but only under a new name, in a new place, and with a new staff. The swamp is both deep and wide.

  33. It’s frightening that intelligent people like Mr. Stokes think the proposed form of censorship is a good idea.

    • Enhancing regulation of large information service providers to the level of utilities maybe not such a bad idea. Deliverables and transparency regarding what is to be censored a must. Some censorship is inevitable to keep it civil. Much more in the political domain than scientific though… clearly detrimental to the latter. But then climate science in its current incarnation is but a shell, warmly wrapped in politics. Justification to censor away.

      • Water utilities provide water. ISP provide IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity and DNS recursive servers. These are well understood services.

        A Web search engine website provides… links?

      • “A Web search engine website provides… links?”
        no, as per the very true saying “if it is free, you are not the client, you are the product”, a web search engine provides customers to its real clients, those who pay it to have them exposed to their commercial offer/propaganda.

      • Let me correct yor last sentence
        A Google Web search engine website provides… CENSORED links?

  34. Thank you very much for your efforts, Willis. Will it make any difference? Prb’ly not, but now you/we see again the wall (or a moat) protecting such people, and that the wall has been in place a long time. The wall, as we know, surrounds politicians, the media, academia, the deep-state, NGOs, Google, etc.

  35. When the “experts” declare that polar bears are doomed, will we be censored for pointing out their populations are at a 40 yr peak? Same with sea ice, sea level rise, you name it. If you think this would never happen, please check out all the people who have been banned from Twitter or facebook. Just for example, Jihad Watch, which tracks terrorist attacks around the world, has been banned. Yes it is true they have not nice things to say about Islam, but there are plenty of places people call for whites or men to be killed or christians banned and nothing happens to them. There have been attempts to ban Jordan Peterson of all people.

  36. Obama had a ‘secret’ meeting – I think it was MIT – a couple weeks ago. Basically, it was all about conspiring to control the message.

  37. Thanks Willis. Although I live in Oz I will be letting everyone dear and near to me hear about this cos it affects us all. For these presidents of science, engineering and medical bodies to go public with the announcement I suspect a lot of planning and agreement has already gone on in the background, some of it involving government agencies. 64 years have convinced me that governments (left, right and centre) hate informed voters so they will like what these guys are saying. Once governments get behind this and pass laws or impose regulations then the game is over for the rest of us – we become pawns in their “game” (as they often call politics). I think I’ve reached grumpy old man status.

  38. Google ‘climate change site’ supposedly the most viewed should appear first, That should put WUWT on the first page, however it is nowhere to be seen.

    • It’s worse than that, Stuart. Google “climate skeptic site” and the first 2 links are to “skepticalscience”, an ALARMIST site … not one, but two links.

      Then after a host of other alarmist sites, at number 18 we get to “RealClimate”, where they actively censor skeptical points of view.

      And WUWT? Number 39 on the list …

      w.

      • Well, just remember that searching for “climate skeptic site” is searching for site which have large occurrence of those three words, especially (but not necessarily) when associated. You can expect an alarmist propaganda tool specializing in smearing the skeptic point of view to make a larger use of such words, than an actual climate skeptic site. So google result makes sense…

      • paqyfelyc March 23, 2018 at 2:44 am

        Well, just remember that searching for “climate skeptic site” is searching for site which have large occurrence of those three words, especially (but not necessarily) when associated.

        Thanks, paqyfelyc. I think you underestimate the power of the google natural language AI. Watch what it does when you speak and it translates it into text. It will start by misunderstanding, but when you add a couple words it knows what you said.

        But who knows what goes on in the bowels of the Google algorithms? You may be right.

        Let me add that Google owns facebook, and a quick look at the people and subjects that they have censored and shut down reveals that they have a huge anti-conservative bias … I doubt that Facebook is censored but Google results are not.

        w.

      • s-t March 22, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        How should Google determine which website gets most “views”?

        Well, if they are counting views for “climate skeptic site”, they could start by, you know, actually limiting their search to climate skeptic sites …

        w.

  39. Nick Stokes, I held you in high regard for years. Your obvious agenda has destroyed that from this post’s comments. So sad really!

    Censorship is created from prior click desire in a search engine digital world, and then a choice from the overlords.

    Try shopping for a gun on google as an example? Just sayin…….. type in “9 mm gun” and hit the shopping tab and see for yourself.

  40. The attitude on major scientific controversies is an important differentiating factor between political parties, at least in the few democracies that still have political parties with different ideologies and platforms (as opposed to those where all parties defend nuances of the same socialism and the same stupid protectionism and the same openness to predatory China).

    So, the US Academy of Sciences is willing to shape the science discourse on the Internet… Wouldn’t that be considered an interference by the US in foreign elections, and as such, the equivalent of a declaration of war according to John McCain?

    Or does the “declaration of war” only occurs when Russia actors post memes on Facebook?

  41. Just delete google (and Facebook, and alike). I don’t use it any more, nor use the “to google” verb .
    Media, Google, Facebook and the like won’t lie outright, but they won’t tell the whole truth and turn the whole thing into a fake news nonetheless.

  42. Censorship creeps in to every society and has been pushing into ours for many years. After the Black Swan, AKA Donald Trump event took place, lots of “deciders” are worried this could be the norm.

  43. Forrest Gardener: “Nick, I sincerely hope you are paid to write this propaganda. Utterly shameful!”

    Both Willis and Nick seem to write to blogs 24/7. We know Willis does it on his own dime. I assume Nick does it on a Big Bucks salary. Willis manages to do great research too. Does Nick? Or is he just a character in CSI:CAGW?

    Regarding censorship, there are many examples to emulate. China? North Korea? At the rate this is going, we will get there, one step at a time.

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