Counter toxicity in social media, says Pope

Published on 1st Sep, 2022

WelCom September 2022

Pope Francis has called on Catholics to counter toxicity in social media, and to engage in dialogue and education to help deal with ‘lies and misinformation’.

The Pope has addressed this message to the participants of last month’s 2022 World Congress of SIGNIS in Seoul, South Korea. The 2022 Congress explored the theme of ‘Peace in the Digital World’ both on site and digitally from August 16–19. SIGNIS is the World Catholic Association for communication professionals. It holds a World Congress every four years.

In his message, Pope Francis says, ‘the use of digital media, especially social media, has raised a number of serious ethical issues that call for wise and discerning judgment on the part of communicators and all those concerned with the authenticity and quality of human relationships.’

‘Sometimes and in some places, media sites have become places of toxicity, hate speech and fake news,’ the Pope added.

He encourages Catholic communicators to persevere in efforts to counter these, ‘paying particular attention to the need to assist people, especially young people, to develop a sound critical sense, learning to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, good from evil, and to appreciate the importance of working for justice, social concord, and respect for our common home.’

The Pope also draws attention to ‘the many communities in our world that remain excluded from the digital space, making digital inclusion a priority.’

In doing so, Catholic communicators provide a ‘significant contribution to the spread of a culture of peace grounded in the truth of the Gospel.’

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