‘Climate Lockdown’ and the Culture Wars: How COVID-19 Sparked a New Narrative Against Climate Action

Authors: Eisha Maharasingam-Shah, Pierre Vaux
Published: 18 October 2021

In September 2020, ISD analysts identified an emerging trend on social media relating to the term ‘climate lockdown’. This spike in volume seemed to be driven primarily by climate sceptics, who claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic was merely a precursor to future ‘green tyranny’, and that both governments and global elites would curtail civil liberties under the pretext of climate change. Over the following eight months, analysts conducted a detailed study of the emergence and mainstreaming of this phrase across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

This report details the chronological growth and evolution of the ‘climate lockdown’ conspiracy narrative. The report is divided into two sections: the first outlines how the narrative emerged and was repurposed by malign actors, making its way onto different social media platforms. The second illustrates how liberal media missteps in early 2021 reignited the narrative, causing it to merge with other, pre-existing conspiracies and ultimately become centred in wider anti-elite discourse.

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Wie Instagram scheitert, gegen Hetze vorzugehen: Der Fall Idar-Oberstein.

Diese Kurzanalyse untersuchte eine Stichprobe von 100 Kommentaren unter einem Instagram Post des deutschen Kanals des russischen Staatsmediums RT (RT DE) zum tödlichen Angriff auf einen Tankstellenangestellten in Idar-Oberstein vom 18. September 2021. Ziel war es, ein stichprobenartiges Lagebild der Narrative und Einstellungen der Kommentare zur Tat auszuwerten.