Pope Francis spoke up this week on fake news. Yes, he actually did.
You know that something has reached an epidemic level of proportion when Pope Francis deigns it important enough to weigh in on. And what did he have to say about fake news? Well, nothing good, that's for sure. The pope began by saying that spreading misinformation was "probably the greatest damage that the media can do." I would agree, wouldn't you? The pope then went a bit blue when he compared fake news and those who share it to coprophilia, which is when someone gets aroused by the thought of excrement. That's right. People turned on by poop. The pope compared people who love fake news to people who love poop. Ew. Also: wow! Leave the kids at home when the pope talks about fake news.
The pope said:
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. And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done.That wasn't the end of it, though. The pope continued:
The means of communication have their own temptations, they can be tempted by slander, and therefore used to slander people, to smear them, this above all in the world of politics. They can be used as means of defamation... No-one has a right to do this. It is a sin and it is hurtful, it directs opinion in only one direction and omits the other part of the truth.
Strong, and (at least to me) very surprising words from the pope! Does he normally get this... graphic when comparing things he doesn't like to other things? We're going to need to add a ratings warning to the front of the Vatican if he doesn't clean up his act soon. As for the fake news industry, will they now stop since the pope just called them poop-loving sinners? Of course they won't. That would require them having souls and shame. Neither of which they do.
H/T: Reuters, The Guardian