April 3, 2019
Pope Francis must have gotten wind of the fact that the internet doesn’t like him that much.
Is this why he’s trying to make “Fake News” a Catholic issue?
What’s next, a Papal Bull banning Catholics from viewing spicy right-wing memes?
Internet-based “fake news” is fomenting prejudice and hatred, Pope Francis said on Tuesday, warning our culture “has lost its sense of truth and bends the facts to suit particular interests”.
He issued the stark warning in a letter to young people around the world following last October’s youth-themed bishops’ synod.
“There are huge economic interests operating in the digital world, capable of exercising forms of control as subtle as they are invasive, creating mechanisms for the manipulation of consciences and of the democratic process,” the pope wrote.
Social networks encourage contact between people who already think alike, precluding them from debate, he said.
“These closed circuits facilitate the spread of fake news and false information, fomenting prejudice and hate.”
“It is not healthy to confuse communication with mere virtual contact,” the pope wrote.
“Indeed, the digital environment is also one of loneliness, manipulation, exploitation and violence… blocking the development of authentic interpersonal relationships.”
Now hold on here.
This is just typical old person stupidity at play here.
The internet doesn’t cause loneliness. It is where lonely people go to find respite and interact with people who may be facing the same problems. Can this cause a sort of feedback loop? Sure, of course it can.
But different online communities have very different cultures.
A handy-dandy guide
What the Pope is talking about are known as toxic communities. These are places where people come out worse than when they came in. This does not apply to any right-wing community that I am aware of. Every single significant right-wing online community that I am aware of promotes self-improvement and reaching out to like-minded folks IRL.
Many people in these communities are depressed, sure.
But they come in depressed and looking for answers about why they’re depressed. When they learn uncomfortable and hard truths about the world, it may not exactly pluck them up, but learning that they are not alone in the world helps a lot. From there, they tend to feel better and start working at their lives.
In the wide-ranging document, the pope also warned of the dangers of historical revisionism, as exploited by increasingly powerful populist politicians.
“If someone tells young people to ignore their history, to reject the experiences of their elders, to look down on the past and to look forward to a future that he holds out, doesn?t it then become easy to draw them along so that they only do what he tells them?”
“He needs the young to be shallow, uprooted and distrustful, so that they can trust only in his promises and act according to his plans.”
The youth is already shallow, uprooted and distrustful – but that’s because of the Jews’ decades-long social engineering program, not because of the internet and a few revisionist historians running demonetized YouTube channels on it.
This Pope doesn’t care about the youth – nor is he very smart if he’s poking the internet with a stick like this.
He is picking a fight with a creature that he does not understand and cannot hope to defeat.
Others have tried and they have lost, every single time.
The internet is far more powerful than the Papacy or Fake News for that matter.
It’s like a giant spider-creature that devours everything that gets stuck in its net. If this Pope keeps thrashing around or God forbid names a specific community, website or personality with an autistic enough following, well let’s just say that all the cherubim guarding the gates of heaven won’t be enough to protect him from the storm of hatred and autism that’ll come hurtling his way.