Although he did not address specific episodes currently rankling the conversation on both sides of the Atlantic, the Argentinian-born pope warned against messaging that pandered to a one-sided viewpoint. His remarks came after the publication asked him to share his views on the “means of communication” in the current moment.
“Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth,” the pope said. (You can read the full transcript here.)
“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” Obama said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed Obama's concerns in an address to her nation's Parliament.
“Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms, and we have to learn to deal with them,” she said.
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