Pope complains of social media 'din'

Pope complains of social media 'din'

Twitter newcomer Pope Benedict XVI complained Thursday that popular social media users and smooth talkers are creating a din and stealing attention from those trying to address key social and faith issues.

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during his weekly general audience on January 23, 2013 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Twitter newcomer Pope Benedict XVI complained Thursday that popular social media users and smooth talkers are creating a din and stealing attention from those trying to address key social and faith issues.

"The culture of social networks... pose demanding challenges to those who want to speak about truth and values," Benedict said in a speech to mark World Social Media day, in which he complained of the "din of excessive information" online.

The 85-year-old pontiff, who sent his first tweet in eight languages in December, said that "the significance and effectiveness" of social media messages "appear determined more by their popularity than by their intrinsic importance and value."

"Popularity is often linked to celebrity or to strategies of persuasion rather than to the logic of argumentation," said Benedict, who already has over a million followers on Twitter but has had to face a stream of mockery in response to his pious posts since launching on the social network.

"At times the gentle voice of reason can be overwhelmed by the din of excessive information and it fails to attract attention which is given instead to those who express themselves in a more persuasive manner," he added.

Social networks "when engaged in a wise and balanced way, help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which, if conducted respectfully and with concern for... truthfulness, can reinforce the bonds of unity between individuals," he said.

Users may be out to make new friends and "be entertained" but they "must make an effort to be authentic," he added.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Malaysia floods caused nearly $1.5 bln in losses

KUALA LUMPUR: Floods that had devastated much of Malaysia in recent weeks have caused an estimated 6.1 billion ringgit (US$1.46 billion) in overall losses, a government report said on Friday.

13:00

Border patrol seizes meth, ketamine after clash with smugglers

CHIANG MAI: A border patrol seized more than 4 million methamphetamine pills, 26 kilogrammes of ketamine and an improvised grenade abandoned by smugglers as they fled following a brief clash in Mae Ai district on Thursday.

12:45

Navy sailor who said he had bomb at airport will be disciplined

A navy officer seen on video falsely intimating he had a bomb in his bag ahead of boarding a flight at Hat Yai airport will be investigated and disciplined, the Royal Thai Navy spokesman said on Friday.

11:34