Church urged to counter fake news through social media

The March 19-20 workshop addressed the topic, “The Effective Use of Social Media.”

By Felix Anthony

Guwahati: A top Catholic official wants the Church to increase its involvement in social media to counter the menace of fake and baked news in the country.

“There has been a visible absence of Church in Social Communication,” noted Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, told a two-day workshop in Guwahati, Assam.

According to him, the Church’s poor presence in social communication has led to its voices going unheard in society. “People with vested interests take advantage of the situation to portray us in negative light,” Bishop Mascarenhas told the opening of the March 19-20 workshop.

Around 20 delegates from across northeastern India attended the workshop that addressed the topic, “The Effective Use of Social Media.”

Bishop Mascarenhas noted northeastern India as “a very important region” where the Church’s effective use of social media could help protect Christians, besides promoting secular values and the unique identity of the people of this region.

The CBCI conducted the workshop for the directors of Social Communication in the region.

Kushal Neogy, Sub-regional Director Partnership for Catholic Relief Services for South Asia, highlighted existing challenges of social communication. “We need to be more active and up-to-date on our social communication as Church body to be more visible and help our voice heard,” he said.

Salesian Sister Eugenia told Matters India that she found the workshop “a good start to counter fake news and to make our voices heard through social media.”

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3 thoughts on “Church urged to counter fake news through social media

  1. Funny and a routine workshop, presented as if it is a new topic….
    The Best to be done is to appoint some morally good communicative personals in CBCI… Rather than sending for studies…the new ones and waiting … To react today’s issues after 3 or 6 years… Time is going cbci is weakening with its post bearers with routine workshops…

  2. The Secretary General of CBCI, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas has rightly advised Church personnel to become active on social media and counter fake (?) news. Actually, many lay writers expose wrong doings of the Church personnel in social media. It cannot be always called fake news. But the Church personnel do not reply or participate in the social media debate. They are also found to be reluctant to reply to complaints from the laity. The reason is that many times they just do not have any justification to offer for their wrongful acts or no arguments to refute the criticism levelled against them. Let us hope that the Church personnel will heed the advice given by the Secretary General, CBCI.

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