Pope Francis condemns fake news as sinful
24 January 2018
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has criticised the fake news crisis that is plaguing all forms of media, especially the internet, in his message for World Communication Day.
Calling on the church to recognise fake news for what it is, “a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes that leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.”
He continued, that "the tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict."
The pontiff, who has addressed this issue in the past, emphasised personal responsibility to overcoming the problem, praising the "efforts which are being made to create educational programmes aimed at helping people to interpret and assess information provided by the media, and teaching them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods, rather than unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation.”
He warns that “since disinformation is often based on deliberately evasive and subtly misleading rhetoric and at times the use of sophisticated psychological mechanisms,” education and institutional assistance is required.
The Pope concluded, "praiseworthy too are those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon, to say nothing of the work being done by tech and media companies in coming up with new criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles."