Founded in 2015 by French scientist Emmanuel Vincent, Science Feedback said its “mission is to help create an Internet where users will have access to scientifically sound and trustworthy information.”
The group claims it is nonpartisan. However, that has not stopped it from being biased — especially on matters regarding climate change. As a certified fact-checker with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), Science Feedback is empowered to indirectly punish content it disagrees with on partnering sites, which include: Google, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
Science Feedback provoked controversy and an IFCN investigation after fact-checking two of Live Action leader Lila Rose’s videos critical of the idea that abortions can be “medically necessary.”
In Rose’s abortion video, she was careful to define abortion as “the direct and intentional killing of a child in the womb” and said that is never medically necessary. A second video featured a neonatologist who shares that view and explained the difference between an abortion and medical treatments to save a mother’s life which sometimes result in the loss of the unborn child.
Science Feedback’s Health Feedback division let two doctors label Rose’s video “inaccurate” and castigate her definition of abortion without acknowledging both doctors were advocates with pro-abortion groups. It also ignored the existence of physicians who share Rose’s view. The National Catholic Register reported that this difference of terms is a philosophical one and more than 1,000 physicians signed a letter making the same argument as Rose.
Because of the fact-check, Rose said Facebook suppressed Live Action’s content. After she spoke out, pro-life legislators lambasted Facebook, which eventually removed the label. CEO Mark Zuckerberg even admitted there “clearly was bias” against her.
Science Feedback is also biased against climate change skepticism. It established a dedicated division, Climate Feedback, to expose such climate “misinformation” in 2016. Vincent was distressed that not enough people accepted the global warming “consensus.” He blamed “misinformation” being so readily available online. Science Feedback added Health Feedback in 2018.
It joined Facebook’s fact-checking partnership in 2019. In that role, when it declares information to be misleading or false, Facebook takes action to stop it from spreading such as issuing warnings on the content and/or reducing its distribution or hiding the pages sharing it. Facebook also suspends or expels users who repeatedly share false content, giving tremendous power to fact-checkers.
- Libertarian journalist John Stossel wrote in October 2020 that Climate Feedback issued a negative fact-check of his California wildfires video based on a claim he never made.
- Although Facebook backed down, Health Feedback maintained its criticism of Lila Rose’s “Abortion is never medically necessary” video. It added a note about the pro-choice affiliations of the two doctors after the IFCN investigation found its “failure to clarify their role to readers, fell short of the standards required of IFCN signatories.”
- Climate Feedback has censored many global warming dissenters. Meanwhile, it relies on alarmists including Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Kevin Trenberth and Kerry Emanuel as guest analysts or advisors to help fact-check climate content.
- In 2016, Science Feedback founder Emmanuel Vincent wrote that “despite the scientific consensus that global warming is real and primarily due to human activity, studies show that only about half the population in some countries with among the highest CO2 emissions per capita understand that human beings are the driving force of our changing climate.” He and a co-author complained that skeptical “misinformation” was too available so they would launch Climate Feedback. The Guardian op-ed was designed to promote a crowdfunding effort to scale up the project.
- Science Feedback’s only $5,000 or higher donor listed is Eric Michelman, a tech worker turned climate activist. He has founded two climate change advocacy groups including More than Scientists for the purpose of convincing the public that climate science is “settled.”