VATICAN CITY, Jan 24 - Reuters - Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the "evil" of fake news, saying journalists and social media users should shun and unmask manipulative "snake tactics" that foment division to serve political and economic interests.
"Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth," Francis said in the first document by a pope on the subject. The document, called "The truth will set you free - Fake news and journalism for peace", was issued in advance of the Catholic Church's World Day of Social Communications on May 13. Francis compared the use of fake news to the Bible story of the devil, who, disguised as a serpent, persuaded Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.
"We need to unmask what could be called the 'snake-tactics' used by those (purveyors of fake news) who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place," he said. "The role of journalists was "not just a job, it is a mission" and they had particular responsibility to stem fake news."