Human Lives Human Rights: Spreading fake news and disinformation on COVID-19 and vaccines, including by Catholic media, is a violation of human rights, Pope Francis said on Friday.
In less than a month, it was for the second time that pope broke silence on that note. Few weeks ago, he condemned “baseless” ideological misinformation about vaccines, backing national immunization campaigns and calling health care a moral obligation.
Pope said it is a human right to be properly informed, to be helped to understand situations based on scientific data and not fake news.
Correct information must be ensured above all to those who are less equipped, to the weakest and to those who are most vulnerable, he added.
Pope denounced a spreading “infodemic,” which he said was a distortion of reality based on fear, falsified or invented news and “allegedly scientific information.”
Francis said: “Fake news has to be refuted, but individual persons must always be respected, for they believe it often without full awareness or responsibility.”
Meanwhile, some right-wing Catholic outlets, blogs and websites have been shut down by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for spreading COVID disinformation.