Francis said, although positive “in themselves,” communications media can be harmful and used to slander people, “especially in the world of politics,” during an interview Wednesday with the Belgian Catholic weekly Tertio. He added that anyone who uses means of communication to defame someone is committing a sin.
His comments came amid growing controversy over “fake news” — including one involving him: a false report online that he had endorsed Donald Trump.
“A thing that can do great damage to the information media is disinformation: that is, faced with any situation, saying only a part of the truth, and not the rest,” Francis said.
“Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth,” he said. “I believe that the media should be very clear, very transparent, and not fall prey — without offense, please — to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal, to communicate ugly things, even though they may be true. And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.” [More]