Pope warns against Internet ‘disinformation’
Pope Francis warned Thursday against the increasing narcissism and “spirals of hatred” found on today’s social media networks, encouraging people to cultivate community through their internet interactions instead.
In his World Day of Social Communications message, Pope Francis said that online discussion is “too often based on opposition to the other.”
“We define ourselves starting with what divides us rather than with what unites us, giving rise to suspicion and to the venting of every kind of prejudice (ethnic, sexual, religious and other),” Francis wrote in the letter published Jan. 24.
This creates a digital environment that nourishes “unbridled individualism which sometimes ends up fomenting spirals of hatred,” he explained.
“As Christians, we all recognize ourselves as members of the one body whose head is Christ. This helps us not to see people as potential competitors, but to consider even our enemies as persons,” he said.
“We no longer need an adversary in order to define ourselves” because in “the all-encompassing gaze we learn from Christ” our identity and our relationship in communion with others, he explained.