That Twitter Account for the New Pope Is Fake, Fake, Fake

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 13 2013 4:03 PM

That Twitter Account for the New Pope Is Fake, Fake, Fake

Fake @jmbergoglio Twitter account.
Not really Bergoglio.

Screenshot / Twitter

The media world being what it is today, the news that Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been named pope prompted a frantic and immediate search for his social-media presence. Would-be Twitter sleuths quickly hit on a likely candidate.

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Influential Twitterati like Reuters' Anthony De Rosa and Jim Roberts spread the word.

ant_de_rosa_pope_tweet
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Within minutes @jmbergoglio's follower count had climbed by thousands, and the faithful flocked to the account to congratulate him.

Just one problem. Would the real pope have written tweets like these?

fake Pope tweet 1
“If I’m going to be the new pope, kids are going to love me more than Santa Claus”
fake Pope tweet 2
“Only the Church must protect these children, hug them, caress them, give them warmth, give them love, give them... eh eh #NoToHomosexualAdoption”
fake Pope tweet 3
“Children must only deliver themselves to the lord :P #NoToHomosexualAdoption”

UPDATE: The new pope's real Twitter handle? Same as the old pope's real Twitter handle.

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Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo is a photo editor at Slate. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.