[Update Feb. 11 2013: This post has been also published in the French edition of the Huffingtonpost and featured in Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish as well as in the Catholic Herald.]
> To : Pope Benedict XVI
> From : Antonio Casilli
> Sent: Sun Feb. 3 2013 03:52:22 PM
> Subject: What to do about Twitter trolling
let me start by saying that I am not a christian, plus I am not particularly appreciative of your work. I am but a modest scholar of digital cultures who has been following, with a professional eye, your recent effort to rebrand your online image. By now, the general public is aware that you and your staff operate the Twitter account @pontifex – and its multilingual permutations @pontifex_fr, pontifex_it, pontifex_es… My sources indicate that this is the brainchild of Jesuit cybertheologian Antonio Spadaro, counselor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications 1. So it seems only obvious that the Jesuit magazine Popoli commissioned a study to assess how well your online presence has been perceived after a month on Twitter. On the face of it, you did fine. You have been sending out approximately 100 messages in 9 languages, and earned more than 2 million followers altogether. Moreover, you have generated 270,456 responses from your fellow users.
This impressive amount of comments was also used to perform a “sentiment analysis”, to determine the general attitude of the Twittersphere. About 82% of the feedback received was “neutral”, a meager 10% was positive, and 8% negative. Let me break it down for you, Your Holiness: sentiment-wise, your entrance on Twitter has been saluted by a roaring “meh”… The not so brilliant results are summarized in the following infographic:
The Pope on Twitter. Source: Oogo.com (more…)
- Turns out my sources were not completely accurate after all. On Twitter, jesuit theologian Antonio Spadaro clarifies that:
@bodyspacesoc just you to know, Antonio: your sources are wrong. Even if I like & support it, it isn’t a brainchild of mine. Ciao!
— Antonio Spadaro SJ (@antoniospadaro) February 5, 2013