Climate Change Denial: A Content Analysis of Social Media
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Climate change science is strongly supported within the scientific community, yet there is still much public debate on the topic. However, there have been few analyses of the online discourse around climate change denial. The goal of this research is to evaluate online discussions in order to gain a better understanding of the climate change denial countermovement, to assess public reactions on global climate change deliberations and legislation, and finally, to determine how and if public opinions have changed over time. In order to gather information from social media users who both support and deny climate change, two Facebook pages were used in this study: 1) NASA’s Climate Change; 2) Climate Change LIES. The main findings of this research indicate that denialist explanations cover a lot of topics but are primarily grounded in politics, personal experience, and how one obtains their sources of news information. Arguments over the authenticity of news sources is central in the climate change debate, as seen in this study. Such arguments commonly included offensive language, which allowed for a new discussion of the social implications on these types of interactions.