In a sign that maybe the Vatican doesn’t really understand this newfangled Twitter thing, they’ve announced that the Pope is beating Justin Bieber in the only category that counts: Retweets. If you’re wondering how that statement can be true, don’t bother, because it isn’t. Don’t worry, Pope, we’re sure you’re still beating Bieber in most giant hats. Probably.
The claim came from the Vatican’s newspaper, which said that the Pope has bested Bieber in percentage of followers that retweeted the pontiff’s first tweet versus the percentage of Bieber’s followers who retweeted one of his most popular tweets about a six-year-old fan losing her life to cancer. The Vatican says about half of the Pope’s 2.1 million followers retweeted the pontiff’s first message, but less than one percent of Bieber 31.7 million followers retweeted his tweet.
The retweet percentage statistic doesn’t mean anything. I just created two Twitter accounts that only follow each other, and retweeted a message by each from the other account. Those two accounts now have a 100% retweet percentage of every tweet they’ve ever posted. I’m beating the Pope and Justin Bieber combined. See how meaningless retweet percentage is?
Besides, the Pope’s 2.1 million followers are spread across the eight different accounts he uses for different languages, and so were the retweets. That seems like cheating considering Bieber has 31.7 million followers on one account. Also, if you’re trying to pick a fight over one of Bieber’s tweets, maybe don’t pick the one where he was honoring a six-year-old girl who died of cancer. I think that counts as cyberbullying.
- The Pope isn’t great at Twitter
- We thought the Pope’s tweets would be church law, but they aren’t
- Pope says no donkey, ox, singing angels, or Justin Biebers at the manger.