Fake News: false report of the death of Benedict XVI
(Rome) Fake news is a reality, even though it may be rarer where it claims to be the mainstream. A recent hoax concerning Benedict XVI. is profoundly tasteless.
It all started with a message posted yesterday on Twitter. The account is #CardRGomez and was therefore attributed to Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota in Colombia.
The message was:
"URGENT. From Rome came the news of the death of the emeritus Pope, His Holiness Benedict XVI. "
Shortly thereafter another tweet followed from the same account:
"Cardinal Pietro Parolin just confirmed to me by phone the news of the death of His Holiness Benedict XVI. An official statement from the Vatican will be published in the next few minutes. "
Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez was immediately contacted by a radio station and denied this, in complete surprised. He had neither received such a message from Rome nor published the mentioned message on Twitter.
Just over an hour after the first Twitter message, a third message was posted on the same fake account:
"False message from the Italian journalist Tommaso Debenedetti".
Correction by the Archdiocese of Bogota
The archdiocese of Bogota issued a press release, clarifying that Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez had nothing to do with the Twitter messages or received any reports from Rome of the type published there. The cardinal had deleted his Twitter account months ago and personally does not use this medium for communication at all.
"The message attributed to Cardinal Salazar is therefore wrong. It has no credibility. The Archdiocese of Bogota has taken steps to erase the Twitter account, which inappropriately misuses the name of the Cardinal, as soon as possible. "
Tommaso Debenedetti, named in the third Twitter message, became known as the Fake News disseminator. For more than ten years, he has been among the internationally renowned for leading the “leading media" by the nose.
"Simply by giving them what they wanted," as he explained several years ago.
In 2011, he sent false reports around the world via Twitter fake accounts. His "specialty" included fabricated interviews with celebrities, including Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama and writer Mario Vargas Llosa.
"Would like to become master of lies"
Debenedetti, comes from a well-known Jewish family from Biella. His father, Antonio Debenedetti is actually a journalist, and even one of the most famous in Italy. His grandfather Giacomo Debenedetti was a writer and well-known literary critic. The grandson is by definition "just a teacher" and said in 2014 of himself:
"I would like to become the master of the lie".
After all, he was cited in the 2004 interview essay published by today’s writer, editor and Pope confidant, P. Antonio Spadaro, in the Roman Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica about his grandfather Giacomo Debenedetti.
If indeed he is behind the false Twitter message of the death of Benedict XVI. is not said. The self-incrimination sounds like the fake news in the fake news. He himself stated some time ago, to have "settled down".
Whether Debenedetti or not, to allow himself a bit of fun in the death of another person, is and remains tasteless.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Twitter / Archbishopric Bogota (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org