Interrete Bennedictus: The Nobel for the Internet and Centralizing the Information Landscape

Elvis Getting a Polio Vaccine Live on the Ed Sullivan Show

There needs to be an award for positive influencers on the internet. If social media is is the means by which the bulk of our culture has decided to be informed then we must have a system to put good information into it. The award I term the Interrete Bennedictus, Latin for “Good Internet” I went for Latin because it sounds more dignified than something like the Positive Influencer Award. The award would come with contracts with the American Psychological Association, the United Nations, the CDC, the WHO, and media companies to produce PSAs.

The award would be given on account of popularity, influence, and positivity of message, of course, but also the practicality of their advice, the scientific effecacy of their advice, the intersectionality of their advice, actual charity or social change their brand and franchise has engaged in, the effecacy of the results of that engagement, the educational value of their content, and similiar metrics.

There would be multiple categories each year for different genres of influencer so the beauty influencers, educational influencers, gamer influencers, religious influencers, would all get different awards and their contracts would include them producing PSAs for other platforms like streaming services but also on their own platforms. There is a lot of good information out there but most of it is stove-piped and information that would be useful for the public doesn’t have an easy way to get from, for example, the scientists to the public.

I used Loren Gray as an example influencer before on this blog. There is lots of information on mental health first aid and as science advances it is getting better and that’s useful but Loren does not have expertise in psychology to produce it herself and even if she wanted to, she wouldn’t know where to begin. If, however, she were contracted by the American Psychological Association and the Centers for Disease Control then she would be getting that information from experts in the field which she would stylize and market.

The information landscape, right now, is the wild west. There is almost no centralization or efffecient system to disperse information from one part of the culture to another. That is bad for individual instances for lacking information but, on a broader scale, it means the average person lacks a general feel for what is realistic which is one way how conspiracy theories and other misinformation so easily spreads. Not everyone should be an expert in everything but most people should be a jack of all trades and master of the ones their interested in.

It used to be that there were three main TV channels and a common cirriculum across most schools. Now, the culture is extremely and increasingly balkanized and atomized with lethal results. Hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths happened in the past three years because of people refusing to take the COVID vaccines, mass shootings have drastically increased and lots of them are hate crimes borne of the underbelly of the internet where the sunlight doesn’t reach.

As a culture, we need to have a system that cordinates and distributes information that citizens need to be good people and to be safe. Having awards for influencers doing that and having NGOs, GOs, nonprofits, and academic and scientific organizations dole out contracts and platofrm the best influencers to do PSAs on things like streaming services would bring a centralization to an information landscape that dearly needs it.

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