Pope Francis twice became victim to fake news himself. Once a social media site issued a report that Pope supported Hillary Clinton and then another fake news site told that he certified Donald Trump for Presidency of united States.
On the World Communications Day Pope gave a message from Vatican City saying that ‘fake news’ is a “sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.”
The Pope said that the concept of fake news is as old as the history of man. In Genesis the serpent tempted Eve with the fake news while in present era electronic media spread any news whether it is false in seconds.
The Pope said that spreading disinformation helps in effecting ‘political decisions’ and in gaining ‘economic interest’. He accuses the fake news agenda as it creates prejudice and hindered in revealing the correct news and arrange ‘constructive dialogues’.
Pope admires the journalism dignity which spread news based on truth and has the ability to dominate the fake news. He adds that it’s the journalist’s obligation to seek the true news.
The World Communication Day is being celebrated by the Catholic community since 1967. Traditionally the Pope’s message regarding this day is published on January 24 which is the Day of Feast. But Catholic celebrates this day on March 13 till then the earlier declaration give the priests and bishops time for preparation of this day.
In 2017, World Communication’s Day message was titled “Fear not, for I am with you, Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time”. The Pope encouraged the means of good news and condemned the bad news.
Social Media hot seat sites including Facebook, Twitter and Google were used to circularize misinformation during the 2016 United States elections.
The British Government is working on establishing a unit for tracing ‘fake news’, told a Downing Street spokesman.
Many popular leaders became victim of false news which they later told that propaganda against them. These leaders include American President Trump and Syria President Bashar Al-Assad who was alleged of torture in one of his military cell.
In his message the Pope further said that “Peace is the true news.” He said that its journalists’ mission who are responsible to give constructive information to the public and save them from being victim of any prejudice.