Pope Warns Media Over ‘Sin’ Of Spreading Fake News, Smearing Politicians

Pope Warns Media Over ‘Sin’ Of Spreading Fake News, Smearing Politicians

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Spreading Disinformation is “the greatest damage that the media can do.”

Media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Francis told the Belgian Catholic weekly “Tertio” that spreading disinformation was “probably the greatest damage that the media can do” and using communications for this rather than to educate the public amounted to a sin.

Using precise psychological terms, he said scandal-mongering media risked falling prey to coprophilia, or arousal from excrement, and consumers of these media risked coprophagia, or eating excrement.

“I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true,” he said.

“And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.”

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