Pope Francis: It's a sin to spread fake news
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Pope Francis compared media outlets that spread disinformation and cover scandals to smear politicians to people who become aroused by excrement. 

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In an interview with the Belgian Catholic weekly "Tertio," Francis said scandal-mongering media outlets risk falling prey to coprophilia, or arousal from excrement, and the consumers risk coprophagia, or eating excrement. 

"I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into — no offense intended — the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true," he said, according to Reuters

"And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, a lot of damage can be done."

The pope also warned that spreading disinformation is "probably the greatest damage that the media can do" because "it directs opinion in only one direction and omits the other part of the truth."

Many have argued that spurious "fake news" circulated on Facebook and rumor websites helped President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE defeat Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcAuliffe says he won't run for president in 2020 Chuck Todd slams reports that DOJ briefed Trump on Mueller findings: 'This is actual collusion' Crowdfund campaign to aid historically black churches hit by fires raises over M MORE in November's presidential election. 

More established media outlets have also faced widespread criticism for their coverage of Trump's campaign.