Pope Francis hits out at Internet trolls

In a message published on the same day that the Twitter-friendly pontiff met Apple boss Tim Cook, Francis said digital technology and the Internet could help bring people together but also had the potential to create deep wounds.

“Our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred,” he said.

The pope urged politicians and others in positions of power “to remain especially attentive to the way they speak of those who think or act differently or those who may have made mistakes.”

And he emphasised the importance of everyone applying the same principle to encounters in cyberspace by showing respect for “the neighbour whom we do not see.”