Pope Francis has condemned fake news as evil, as he urges journalists to make it a point of duty to search for the truth while reporting.
In his annual social communications message released on Wednesday, the 81-year-old pontiff compared fake news to the snake in the Garden of Eden.
According to him, the serpent in the Garden of Eden hissed the first fake news to Eve and it all went downhill from there.
He said the first fake news dated from the biblical beginning of time, when Eve was tempted to take an apple from the Garden of Eden based on disinformation from the serpent.
“The strategy of this skilled ‘Father of Lies’ is precisely mimicry, that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with false and alluring arguments,” he said of the snake.
“We need to unmask what could be called the ‘snake-tactics’ used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place,” the pope wrote in a message ahead of what the church has designated as its World Day of Social Communications, in May.
Arguing that the “crafty” serpent’s effective disinformation campaign to get Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge “began the tragic history of human sin,” he added, “I would like to contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news.”
Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church.