AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Orthodox Church warns of “fake news” on social media

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 middle east   oriental churches   media   social network   social communications  

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) -"The multiplication of social communication platforms and networks is leading to information chaos: anyone can write messages and send anything online without having to take into account the authenticity of the content distributed and without naming the source from which they come", complains Father Boulos Halim, spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church, who warns against spreading false news about the Church on social media. According to the Coptic priest, it is a phenomenon against which official denials are powerless. For this reason it is recommended to those who are reliable If you wish to disseminate or comment on news about the Coptic Orthodox Church, to urgently use information that has been published or confirmed by the official communication channels of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate or by Patriarch Tawadros himself. The most recent case, referred to by the Communications Officer of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, concerns the viral dissemination of the information on social media that occurred during the Christmas service on the evening of January 6th at Anba Bishoy Monastery, chaired by Pope Tawadros during which it is said that sister Tamav Irini appeared. The spread of this rumor via social networks prompted the media service of the Coptic Orthodox Church to issue an official denial, urging everyone not to spread this false news any further. Sister Tamav Irini ("Our Mother Irene"), who died in 2006, was the abbess of the Monastery of Saints Mercury and Antonio Abbot in Cairo and is venerated by many Coptic believers, who attribute numerous miracles to her intercession. For some time now, the Coptic Orthodox Church has repeatedly pointed out the harmful effects of the incorrect use of social networks and media on the concrete life of church communities. In a message recently addressed to members of the Egyptian Rotary Club of Alexandria-Pharos (see Fides, 16/11/2020), the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros described social networks and media as a "double-edged sword". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 13/1/2021)