LETTER: Media sometimes responsible for false information

Fake news is ‘positively dangerous,’ says letter-writer

Re: The truth about fake news (Our View, Oct. 16)

Congratulations on your editorial attacking fake news and the way nonsense and false information is propagated electronically. You positioned the article in a political context and that’s important.

But fake and false information is much worse than this, and is in fact positively dangerous.

The lies and false information propagated by the anti-vaxxers movement is really dangerous to public health. The lies and misrepresentations given out by the climate change deniers is really dangerous to the future lives of millions of people, especially the younger generation. The lies and misinformation touted by those who deny evolutionary science is dangerous to an educated and informed humanity, who need to properly understand their true place in the great web of life.

Unfortunately the media themselves are responsible for much of the propagation of this false information in a misguided belief they are showing “balance.”

The letter from Ken Ellinger right opposite your editorial is a classic example. I ask, would you publish a letter from someone who claimed that viruses and bacteria do not cause disease and that all ill-health can be cured by willow bark? Would not this “balance” conventional medical and biological knowledge? Probably not, as that would clearly be proliferating dangerous nonsense.

Yet for the letter writer you published to claim better knowledge of the climate impacts of anthropogenic CO2 than all of the international scientific community in many fields such as atmospheric science, paleontology, hydrography, limnology, mathematical modelling and many others, working for reputable organizations such as NASA, NOAA, IPCC and many others is no less dangerously fake and anti-science.

Sooke News, please do you do your part to stop the continued bombardment and pollution of the public discourse by false, misleading and unscientific statements.

Roland Alcock



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