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Climate change denialism spread via fake CNN headline

A supposed screenshot of a CNN article claiming that climate change is merely seasonal was widely spread on social media. But CNN never published such a headline. Let’s look at the facts.

A tweet reads, “Yes, it’s called summer” and shows a fake screenshot of a CNN article with the headline “As temperatures cool this fall, it’s important to remember that climate change will be back next summer.” The News Literacy Project has added a label that says, “IMPOSTOR CONTENT.”
The screenshot in this tweet is not a genuine article published by CNN.
This is a piece of impostor content designed to look like a CNN article.
Global warming and climate change can cause severe winter weather.

NewsLit takeaway

Recognizing that this screenshot is fake is just the first step in pushing back against misinformation. It’s also important to understand why this piece of content was created, what message it is trying to spread and why it appeals to some people.

Impostor content is often designed to launder faulty ideas through a credible source. Using a fabricated CNN headline to push this falsehood accomplishes two things: It lends credibility to a demonstrably false claim for those who are inclined to believe it, and it impugns CNN’s reputation and credibility for those who aren’t.

Remember: While weather changes from one season to the next, the impacts of climate change can be felt throughout the year. Conflating weather with climate is a common strategy used to minimize the magnitude of climate change. Recognizing this distinction makes us all less susceptible to climate change misinformation.

“Fact Check- CNN did not publish headline suggesting climate change is seasonal” (Reuters Fact Check).

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