Vatican City, Nov 14, 2019 / 10:39 am
In a speech to the head of major global tech companies, Pope Francis said Thursday that protecting children from evils such as trafficking and pornography requires a recognition of the limits of online freedom.
“A crucial aspect of the problem” of child safety online “concerns the tension – which ultimately becomes a conflict – between the idea of the digital world as a realm of unlimited freedom of expression and communication, and the need for a responsible use of technologies and consequently a recognition of their limits,” the pope said.
“A fitting balance must be found between the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and the interests of society,” he continued, “so as to ensure that digital media are not used to perpetrate criminal activities against minors.”
The pope underlined the huge potential of digital technology, but noted also its negative impact when abused for “human trafficking, the planning of terrorist activities, the spread of hatred and extremism, the manipulation of information and – we must emphasize – in the area of child abuse...”