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Stop Inviting Pope Francis to Facebook, He’s Never Going to Join

Well, someone needs to play Words With Friends with me.


If Pope Francis believes the Internet is a “gift from God,” then Facebook is humanity’s inevitable corruption of that gift. His Holiness said recently that he will not not be joining Facebook, because, you know, it’s terrible—and even a special visit from the network’s representatives couldn’t sway him.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli is the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, or the dude who helps Pope Francis handle his media strategy. Quartz reports that Facebook officials recently visited the Vatican to encourage the Pope to join the network, but Celli said it would be impossible to police the page for inappropriate comments, saying he already spends a significant amount of time “cleaning up” the Vatican’s Facebook news page.

The Pope did briefly consider joining the social network, though. Vatican Insider reported this year that a team of IT technicians had been assigned “to look into ways in which to prevent offensive or inappropriate messages and other such material from being posted on the Pope’s [Facebook] page.” However, the team determined that Francis’ Twitter, @Pontifex, likely offers the only feasible way of making sure a papal social media account that doesn’t get co-opted by trolls.

Why does Archbishop Celli think Twitter commenters cause less trouble for the Vatican than Facebook users would? Huffington Post hypothesizes that since tweets directly attacking the Pope are only visible when individually clicked on (rather than displayed on a wall for the world to see) potential public image nightmares can fly under the radar. A papal typo earlier this week received a score of X-rated tweets in response. God only knows what kind of a nightmare that would have been on Facebook.

I get it, Pope Francis. Just carry on being better at Twitter than I am.

(Quartz via Huffington Post and Uproxx, image via Catholic Church England and Wales)

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