Source: Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takover, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject.

Twitter Climate Alarmists Alarmed at the Rise of Free Speech

Essay by Eric Worrall

“… Half of regular green tweeters abandoned platform after its sale and cuts to moderation, analysis finds …”

Alarm at exodus of climate voices on Twitter after Musk takeover

Half of regular green tweeters abandoned platform after its sale and cuts to moderation, analysis finds

Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarringtonWed 16 Aug 2023 01.00 AEST

Half of people regularly tweeting about the climate and nature crises abandoned Twitter after it was taken over by Elon Musk, according to new analysis.

Musk, who has called himself a “free speech absolutist”, radically cut Twitter’s content moderation staff after the takeover, which began in April 2022 and was finalised in October 2022.

Reports have found rising climate change dis- and misinformation on the platform and a dramatic increase in hate speech. Scientists and others told the Guardian in December that there had been a surge in debunked climate change denialist talking points on Twitter since the Musk takeover.

The incredible power of Twitter was that it was this open forum where people could share ideas and opinions and influence other people,” said Prof Charlotte Chang, of Pomona College in the US, who led the research. “We have this immense challenge of empowering stakeholders across all sectors of society to take action to halt the loss of biodiversity and to combat catastrophic climate change. We were pretty disheartened to find that after the sale, our environmental Twitter community has really declined.

The analysis, titled: Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takeover, is published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. It analysed the Twitter use of the groups in 15-day intervals from July 2019 to April 2023. A user was deemed to be active if they tweeted at least once about their topic in a 15-day window.

Read more:

The Abstract of Professor Chang’s study;

Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takover

Charlotte H. Chang, Nikhil R. Deshmukh, Paul R. Armsworth, Yuta J. Masuda

Published: August 15, 2023DOI:


In our sample of 380 000 environmentally oriented users, nearly 50% became inactive on Twitter after it was sold in October 2022, a rate much higher than a control sample. Given Twitter’s importance for public communication, our finding has troubling implications for digital environmental information sharing and public mobilization.

Read more:

I love Professor Chang’s use of the phrase “open forum”, as in excluding people she disagrees with. Now those people are no longer excluded, “our Environmental Twitter community has really declined”.

Why should greens expect to have exclusive access to a platform for mobilising the public? Last time I checked, freedom and democracy was about people with different points of view being able to have their say.

Looking at Professor Chang’s twitter feed, I couldn’t see overwhelming evidence of hate speech.

I did notice Chang made a few political comments outside her usual environmental chatter, like in 2020 she tweeted support for BLM. Regardless of how you feel about BLM, tweeting a strong view about BLM in 2020, pro or anti, would have attracted some fiery feedback, some of which could have spilled over into some of her other tweets. So there are reasons other than her views on the environment as to why Chang might have received some hate speech.

And frankly I find Chang’s views on “open” forums pretty offensive – Chang seems to define an open forum on the environment as a public place which excludes people like me. Does Chang really think only some people deserve to have their views heard? What other exclusions should be applied to climate skeptics?

History is full of examples of where that kind of thinking can lead.

The big question in my mind though, where will eco-snowflakes like Chang find a new home?

People grudgingly tolerated political censorship on Twitter and Facebook, because of founder effect. Everyone signed up in the early days because these platforms were mostly the only game in town, and in the old days the censorship was less onerous, if only because the tools weren’t up to censoring every word.

That founder effect was important – if you wanted to talk to your friends, you have to use a platform they also use. Greens like Chang took advantage of old Twitter management’s political and scientific bias to amplify their message to people who weren’t already followers.

But setting up a new, heavily censored “open forum”, and convincing people who don’t already agree with you to join, is going to be a real challenge for the climate censors.

Just look at the dismal performance of Facebook’s twitter clone Threads – interest is collapsing, despite the existing Facebook user base. As for Meta – I mean, what a disappointment. If you are into virtual avatars Second Life, Eve Online or World of Warcraft are far more interesting. Or at least, the graphics are a lot better.

In today’s crowded market, platforms where everyone sings from the same hymn sheet on important issues just aren’t interesting enough to attract people’s attention if they are not already involved, especially when there are more interesting discussion places like Musk’s Twitter competing for click space.

5 26 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 16, 2023 6:19 pm

I have a different take on this. In the past the alarmists pretty much parroted what was being said in the mainstream media and what they found on social media. With sites like Twitter moving to tighter and tighter moderation (censorship) any alarmist could say pretty much anything and feel confident no one would challenge them. Musk didn’t have to do anything but allow both sides to voice their views for the no nothing alarmists to run for cover. They know that their views/ideology can not stand the light of day. If they are forced to defend their views legitimately on a public forum they would get their backside handed to them and they know it. I don’t blame them for hiding.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bob
August 17, 2023 4:11 am

“Musk didn’t have to do anything but allow both sides to voice their views for the no nothing alarmists to run for cover. They know that their views/ideology can not stand the light of day. If they are forced to defend their views legitimately on a public forum they would get their backside handed to them and they know it. I don’t blame them for hiding.”

I think you have it there, Bob.

We know these climate change alarmists and their claims cannot stand up to scrutiny, and they know it, too. If the argument involves anything more than throwing out a bogus Hockey Stick chart, they are lost. They don’t have the answer. All they can do is chant: Warming, warming, warming!

They couldn’t have done that chant in the 1970’s.

Caleb Shaw
Reply to  Bob
August 17, 2023 9:47 am

I think some like the illusion they are of a fictional majority, when in fact they may be a minority. Others foster this illusion by adding bots to the “majority”. You wind up with a hallway of mirrors effect, where a few parrots in an echo chamber feel like they are a majority. Meanwhile the majority feel like they are a minority, and become depressed, wondering “How could 61 million vote for that dope” when in fact 61 million didn’t.

The “Swamp” thinks it can control the public by proclaiming what is “popular”, but all it touches turns to bleep. Go Woke go Broke. Meanwhile the recent “hits” seem to come from outside their control, like “Sound of Freedom”, or that folk song by Oliver Anthony that went from 20 views to ten million in six days.

I am prone to think the so-called majority is actually a minority, and the minority is actually huge. That has got to make some people very nervous.

Reply to  Bob
August 17, 2023 6:39 pm

Total use stats??

Reply to  Bob
August 17, 2023 7:44 pm

Exactly Bob. The alarmists didn’t care for being debunked after Musk ended the censorship of climate realists.

Tom Halla
August 16, 2023 6:24 pm

The Green Blob does not like dissent. They rather remind me of Jehovah’s Witnesses when I ask about the Second Coming not happening in 1975, as they once predicted. Either they deny any such prophesy was made, or retreat into verbiage.
They do have the characteristics of a preaching church.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 16, 2023 8:29 pm

The differences is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t threaten your way of life.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 17, 2023 10:04 am

or retreat into verbiage”

Oddly, they revert to prayer in my presence.

I gave some Jehovah Witnesses some plants the last time they were here, including a fig tree. That was on their third visit (attempt).
They haven’t returned.

Joe Gordon
August 16, 2023 6:28 pm

There was a big push for this when Zuck started his Threads. On some of the forums I’m on, people were posting their new Threads handles and waxing poetic how it would be a beautiful, moderated, safe community with unicorns and pretty butterflies.

A week later, silence. Apparently, Threads wasn’t what they had hoped and engagement in it dropped precipitously within days.

I think they found out that they can preserve their world no matter where they are, and all their friends are still Tweeting. They just use the block function more so they don’t have to see anything that upsets them.

Twitter, meanwhile, is still a cesspool. Getting rid of a few Climageddon cheerleaders wouldn’t change that.

Reply to  Joe Gordon
August 17, 2023 10:45 am

Threads solved the problem of bias by dumping on everybody.
One guy got in trouble for claiming he shouldn’t have done something, so Threads hit him with ‘bullying’.
There goal was unicorns and flowers, everything else should be done in private.

August 16, 2023 6:42 pm

The incredible power of Twitter was that it was this open forum where people could share ideas and opinions and influence other people,” said Prof Charlotte Chang, of Pomona College in the US, who led the research.

For Charlotte, allowing opposing viewpoints free of censorship is somehow not “open” whereas censoring opposing viewpoints is a good idea. Ignorance is Strength, eh, Professor?

Reply to  Independent
August 16, 2023 7:18 pm

“The incredible power of Twitter was that it was this open forum where people could share ideas and opinions and influence other people,””

Yet he is complaining that Twitter is now IS an open forum where people can share ideas and opinions.

The climate scammers influence is now over… that is his main complaint.

Rich Davis
Reply to  bnice2000
August 17, 2023 3:38 am

Yet he is complaining

Are you suggesting that Charlotte used to go by Charles? You misgendering monster!

Reply to  Rich Davis
August 17, 2023 4:37 am

It is wrong to judge someone’s gender title.

I apologise. 😉

August 16, 2023 6:56 pm

History is full of examples of where that kind of thinking can lead.

Joseph Goebels comes to mind.

August 16, 2023 7:44 pm

Without the echo chamber Twitter is nothing to the alarmists except a social tool. How novel.

August 16, 2023 7:52 pm

‘We have this immense challenge of empowering stakeholders across all sectors’

anytime you hear any of those words, you know its going to be liberal garbage 

August 16, 2023 8:28 pm

Off topic, but does anyone know what’s happened to Climate Depot?

Reply to  PatFromVic
August 16, 2023 9:32 pm

Looks like they are doing a site update/renovation.

Probably not a bad idea. 🙂

Philip CM
August 16, 2023 8:39 pm

The moral and ethical graveyard that is the auto-consensus minority. Whether climate alarmism, GND-NetZero’s, Stop oil, or the pseudo-educated woke, etc., is that they shout about equity and inclusion all the while exploiting societal good-will by spreading disinformation, creating division, and actively working to disenfranchise and censor people. Including those whose profession, education, and real world experience exceeds that of their own. All in the name of their idealized wishful thinking as truth.
Which given all the above wouldn’t matter half-a-damn if the teachers, government office holders, corporate spokesmen, the media simply asked pertinent questions and demanded the hard answers.
But no. We get faked out by them all so a failing ideal that is a bankrupt sociopolitical agenda can move forward uncontested.
And they are the ones calling all those who are skeptical of the facts and how they are derived… ….worse than H-tler. 🤦‍♂️

Philip CM
Reply to  Philip CM
August 16, 2023 8:47 pm

Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil.
Albert Camus

August 16, 2023 10:28 pm

Am I reading the graph wrong? I mean see this: “Half of regular green tweeters abandoned platform after its sale and cuts to moderation, analysis finds”.

But the graph labeled “change in active users” for “environmental” is less than -0.04.

Its the “proportion of active users” that declined almost .5.

Does someone not know how to read graphs?

Are the graphs wrong or misleading?

Did I have too much of my excellent barrel strength rye?

I find the idea that 50% of environmental users would abandon the platform less believable than that the proportion of users giving pushback would increase if they weren’t being actively censored.

I also don’t find it hard to believe the researcher and the press would describe the change in the most negative terms possible because, well, public debate is the last thing they want.

August 16, 2023 10:46 pm

Prof Charlotte Chang:

We have this immense challenge of empowering stakeholders across all sectors of society to take action to halt the loss of biodiversity and to combat catastrophic climate change

Loss of biodiversity = install wind farms and chop up insects, bats and raptors. 
They don’t care about all that do they. Never discusses, and if the person making the comment gets totally cancelled.

Reply to  nhasys
August 17, 2023 9:48 pm

Color me unsympathetic.

Chop up all the insects and bats you want. (if you’ve ever had bats in your cabin you’d understand, but bear spray works well on bat roosting areas in case you ever need to know. I don’t think I need to justify my disconcern about insects.)

Eric Vieira
August 17, 2023 12:45 am

Any debate, especially scientific ones, are to be won by sound argumentation and not through censorship.

August 17, 2023 3:04 am

It’s currently very fashionable in certain circles to talk about emotional resilience. What no one seems to talk about is cognitive or intellectual resilience, and how under the pressure of the semantic literalists it is being torn to pieces before our eyes.
The debate professor Chang supports started as a soft word, climate changes and now we have a hard core word(s) “global boiling”.

By playing with language and where words derives from, the first global revolution when it comes to CC, it is clear that, “global boiling” means that all “climatedeniers” are a sort of sociopath, unconcerned with the lives of our fellow citizens, if we stated a yes, climate changes excists, but … the sentence “global boiling” by nature doesn´t, then we must be from “looney town” even though all we want to discuss is the words CC.

The phrase “Global boiling” seems to have the sadly warranted confidence that it can convince a good part of the population to accept this new ludicrously simplified and decontextualized version of the phenomenon climate changes in question – and it does. To say yes, climate changes excists, is per se bad and unacceptable with out the word “global boiling”

The logic behind the correct term and definition of climate changes, yes climate changes occurs world wide you don´t need the “www” or to read headlines to know that, have under-gone a tendencies toward aggressive semantic flattening and the radical and self-interested decontextualization of long-understood words and visual signs.

Language is per definition a wonderful and amazingly complex tool that, if properly honed, allows for the perception and expression of nuanced understandings of the world, and from there, the imaginative creation of new hopes and possibilities – professor Chang would propably be unemployed if it wasen´t for the serial attempts trying to “kill” the debate from the two words climate changes.

So … what they are affraid off, is the fact, that a good “instructor” can provide a rudimentary rendering of the correspondence between a given linguistic term and the reality it is said to represent and in the end it all falls back to the fact that yes climate changes excists, it´s a historical fact.  

Rich Davis
August 17, 2023 3:42 am

I’m surprised that nobody has considered the possibility that 50% of climate twits were bots that Elon eliminated

Reply to  Rich Davis
August 17, 2023 5:06 am

Jeez, I had to scroll all the way down here before I find someone stating the bloody obvious?
The only think Musk seems to have changed about TwatFaceGram, is better weeding of bots. 380 000 of the friggin’ things, just on climastrology, according to Gretha Chang, wow! Oh,sorry, seems Musky has only found half of them so far…

Caleb Shaw
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 17, 2023 9:34 am

I had the same thought.

Reply to  Rich Davis
August 19, 2023 2:50 pm

I looked for this reply and agree.

August 17, 2023 5:46 am

The alarmists don’t like it up ‘em Capt Mainwaring
Once the woke, alarmist echo chamber was compromised by truth, fact and honest debate, the twits didn’t know how to cope with being challenged, so left to join some other lefty echo chamber of self flagellation

August 17, 2023 5:54 am

One of the first steps taken by Musk, even before the takeover was agreed, was to highlight and limit the number of bots on the network. It’s quite possible that what we are seeing here is the result of bots being excluded.

August 17, 2023 9:55 am

“Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takover{sic}”

While I have had a Twitter Account for years, it was rare that I even visited Twitter. Visits were mostly to read some twitter link left in an article.

After Musk bought Twitter, my visits became daily and I frequently comment, including pointing out irrationality or gross errors of alarmists.

I still find myself very much in the minority on Twitter. I’ve was an environmentalist back the late 1960s. Only environmentalism moved far to the left due to people believing evangelist preaching instead of science.

Now I list myself as a naturalist.

All too often now, people who claim to be environmentalists are utterly ignorant of the topics.
They do not understand habitat issues.
They do not understand the complexity of life.
They do not understand any of the impacts to humans by their demands.
Nor do they understand the impacts their ideas cause to wildlife, plant life, environment.
Yet they claim to be “environmentalists”.

Leaving me confused, what is “Environmental users abandoned Twitter after Musk takover{sic}” actually measuring?

e.g., Jim Steele, Kip Hansen and many others are true environmentalists and they likely have long held Twitter accounts.

I would’ve listed Willis Eschenbach as an environmentalist too, but Twitter bears a vindictive kind of hate towards him. A fact that proves Musk did not eliminate Twitter employees pretending they know all about the environment.

I'm not a robot
August 17, 2023 10:29 am

Most folks are not strong enough to risk disagreeing with “everybody else”, or finding themselves on the “wrong side” of an issue.

It’s a human foible.

How many folks are willing to admit that we can’t know if God exists? In my experience the great majority are either atheists or believers. Few agnostics exist, and fewer even know what that means.

Every other word (OK, that’s an exaggeration) of the post is a shibboleth. The global warning mass delusion has its own lexicon. One could deduce the position an author is taking just by looking at word count metadata.

August 17, 2023 10:40 am

debunked climate change denialist talking points, as opposed to authoritarian climate change alarmist talking points ?

Is there an official debunking/rebunking site ?

Gary Pearse
August 17, 2023 12:53 pm

The many formal debates between sceptics and ‘consensus’ end-of-world climate scientists were won, without exception, by sceptics, leading to a call by prominent disaster climate scientists to refuse to debate sceptics! The ‘call’ was heeded!! The climateer Twitter twaddlers showed they were snowflakes. They couldnt perform without critics being gagged.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 17, 2023 2:16 pm

That’s because they have no evidence CO2 is anything other than a benign gas, essential for life.

If you ask a climate alarmists for evidence that CO2 is harmful, they run and hide.

August 17, 2023 6:38 pm

Timing. While topical analysis might be true, it is probably more a comment of all-media use in an election cycle. It would be news if other platforms (which ones?) GAINED users of any category.

August 17, 2023 6:42 pm

I went looking for a description of the “control sample” and got a dead link

August 18, 2023 5:57 am

What they call “hate speech” is calling a groomer a groomer.

Verified by MonsterInsights