Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
As one of the leaders of the world, you need to help your citizens to learn how to stay healthy, how to take care of their planet and how to better educate themselves. In an era where information is available almost anywhere (given an Internet access), not all this information is true. In fact, a saying says: “50% of the Internet is false; the other 50% is to be verified.” I now wish to expose you my view on the problem of wrong information on the Internet and present my solutions to you.
One of the major problems of having false information spreading on the Internet is that the population can come to believe those “facts”. This would have a very dangerous effect on our whole lifestyle. In fact, it’s already starting. By the time you’ll receive this letter, major budget funds will have been cut on science, environment, and health.
Since 2006, in Canada, scientists have been muzzled, preventing them from sharing information. They did not have the right to freely talk to the media about their research. It reduced communication with the media by more than 80% in the Harper-era Canada. Now that there’s a new Prime Minister, which might overturn the muzzling, the United States of America have elected (by a minority, thanks to the electoral college) a president that is reportedly against science, healthcare, welfare, environment protection and equality. Not only is the president known for these positions, but he named his whole cabinet at his image, from CEOs, to government critics, passing by family members. Their thoughts on climate change are simply alarming.
In my native Quebec, climate change is real. We used to have winters with lots of cold and snow. This winter, we barely had two or three days of heavy snow. I was even able to go outside without a coat for a couple days as the temperatures were around 10°C in Montreal. That is not normal. Climate change is a real threat to the planet and people need to know it is the truth. Most scientists agree it is a truth, but they don’t make a majority of the population.
The rising of the heat on the planet could and will make water levels rise. It will impact the Amazon, coastal areas, the Nile, the Pacific Islands, Arctic, Antarctica, Australia and many more places. We could help preventing that by better educating the world’s population on climate change and its effects.
Another effect of having false information flowing on Internet is that it changes the people’s knowledge on health. There are good sources about health on the web, but there are also lots of bad ones. Some websites teach people wrong ways of taking care of themselves while they should go see a doctor. Other websites tell people that modern and proven medical treatments are in fact “wrong” and shouldn’t be used.
One of the most famous cases is vaccination. As of 2015, 38% of France doesn’t believe vaccines are good. They think it is dangerous. We know, thanks to history, that vaccines have taken down or helped take down many illnesses like Tetanus, Measles, Rubella, Hepatitis B and A, Rotavirus, Polio, Typhoid, Pneumococcus, Diphtheria and Chickenpox to name only a few. Lots of people think that vaccines leads to autism. The truth is that no scientific evidence points that way. In fact, vaccines only helps preventing and curing illnesses.
The misunderstandings and misinformation about health could be changed to proper understanding by verifying the facts that go around the web to help people know whether they’re reading facts or opinions.
To tackle the information problem on the Internet, my solution is to all work together towards a free, truthful, and fact-checked Internet. With the help of the governments of the world, the UN, ICANN, the EU, the scientific community, the websites owners and the public, we can all get access to a better place to browse.
With true facts highlighted with a special symbol like Facebook or Twitter accounts are, everyone could know that what they are reading is true, false, or has to be checked. Knowing that, they could take a more enlightened decision on whether to believe or not what they are reading. It could also help students around the world find reliable information for their school work and make sure they are learning proper knowledge.
With every day that passes, I try to better educate myself by learning the basic things of our world. As a physics student, it is my duty to help people know and understand their world. I am therefore reaching for you, leaders of this world, to help me in my work.
I work with the people around me and I help them understand how things properly works, how to find proper information and how to get reliable sources on the web. Unfortunately, I don’t have quite the same range and reach as you do. I think you could get together and product little miracles for mankind and our planet.
With hope that you will help me,