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Record ‘retweets’ for Pontiff; comparison with Bieber statistics provokes criticism

Catholic World News - December 21, 2012

The Vatican newspaper has reported that Pope Benedict is “exceeding pop stars like Justin Bieber in the percentage and number of retweets of his messages.”

“More than 1.2 million followers of the Pope – out of the more than two million of the current total of his followers – decided to share [a papal] message of good wishes,” reported Silvia Guidi, a member of the editorial staff of L’Osservatore Romano. “Instead, only 0.7 per cent of the pop star's fans considered it appropriate to retweet his words last 26 September when Bieber posted what became the second most widespread message of 2012.”

In that message, Bieber commented on the death of a six-year-old fan from cancer.

The decision to compare the Pope’s Twitter statistics with Justin Bieber’s led some reporters and bloggers to comment that the Pope has started a “Twitter war” with fans of the Canadian singer-songwriter. A blogger for New York Magazine wrote:

So, wait, the pope crushed Bieber in terms of the percentage of followers who retweeted a tweet? We've never even heard of anyone citing that kind of statistic before. The pope basically just made up a metric to prove how much better he is than Justin Bieber. This seems like kind of a petty thing for the pope… to do.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 21, 2012 11:52 AM ET USA

    LOR has changed so much in recent years with movie reviews, rock band articles, etc, that this incident is hardly surprising. Comments from others, then, can hardly come as any surprise and only goes to prove that change for change sake isn't necessarily a good thing.

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