BRITAIN’S prime minister used part of her Davos time yesterday to put pressure on Facebook, Twitter and others which have been lamentably slow in stopping the cancer of terrorist propaganda, while Pope Francis highlighted another dark side of the web, the “evil” of fake news.
He urged reporters to search for truth and re-discover the dignity of journalism.
We applaud his comments, but would add that most of those who have laboured in this industry since the invention of the printing press have sought the truth, and have more often than not been obstructed by a variety of earthly powers with an interest in concealing it.
The problem now is that fake news is written by people who pretend to be journalists, and published online by organisations that disclaim responsibility for what they publish.
In tracing the origin of fake news back to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, his Holiness might have confused young Facebookers and Twitterers, and perplexed even some theologians, but it is to be hoped that his words — and Theresa May’s — are heeded by those who publish lies and incitements to racial and religious hatred.