Online reactions to the new pope. Justin Bieber targeted, yet again, by the online hoaxers at 4Chan. And a cute little seal pup tries to go surfing.
Web users react to election of Pope Francis
"Habemus Papam Franciscum": this was the very first tweet posted to the Pope’s official Twitter page just moments after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope. So the new Head of the Catholic Church will be reviving the Twitter thread launched back in December by his predecessor Benedict XVI, which was deactivated when he announced his resignation.
Millions of web users the world over also took to the micro blogging site to react to the appointment of the first ever Latin American pope: whether it was to send well wishes, share their hopes for reforms within the Vatican or to look back over his time as cardinal.
Twitter has said Wednesday saw a staggering 7 million tweets relating to the new pope. At its peak, when the name of the new pontiff was announced papal tweeting reached 130 000 posts per minute. The site Topsy has even analyzed where these tweets originated from, and found that most of them were sent from the Americas and in particular from his home country Argentina.
A lot of these tweets however were posted to a spoof account set up last year under the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The fake account gained some 130 000 followers in just a few hours. Twitter later suspended the account.
And the pope’s election has of course been the perfect opportunity for online comedians to have a bit of fun at the expense if the new head of the Catholic Church. One of the most popular games on social networks at the moment involves finding celebrities or film characters that resemble Pope Francis in one way or another.
Argentine football San Lorenzo is thrilled by the news and has been celebrating the promotion of its most famous supporter. The club has proudly posted the former cardinal’s membership card to social networks, his father incidentally used to play basketball for this local club in Buenos Aires.
4Chan once again behind Justin Bieber online hoax
Canadian pop star and teen idol Justin Bieber has once again fallen victim to an online hoax, and a crazy rumour started on the site 4Chan at the beginning of the week. Members of the anonymous forum which is known for its subversive activities published a message claiming the singer had been questioned by police in Britain for molesting a 13 year old girl and would soon be facing these charges in court.
Totally unfounded rumours that soon spread across the web with hundreds of users taking to social networks, slamming the pop star: the hashtag #Jail4Bieber, was particularly popular on Twitter, with posts strongly condemning the pop star’s actions and urging the UK’s legal authorities to deal with him harshly.
This isn’t the first time the 4chan community has started false rumours about Justin Bieber. In November 2012, a handful of jokers were behind an elaborate hoax convincing ‘Beliebers’, as they are known, the Canadian singer had been diagnosed with cancer and they should shave their heads in solidarity. The message was widely circulated on social networks and resulted in dozens of web users going ‘Bald for Bieber’.
And more recently, in January, other 4channers launched the #cutforbieber campaign; an online cry to fans to convince the pop star to stop smoking marijuana, by self-harming. Sadly some Bieber fans did actually respond…
Now trending on social networks
Indian filmmaker Farhan Akhtar has turned to social media to launch the campaign « Men Against Rape and Discrimination » which aims to increase gender awareness and respect for women among men. A number of Bollywood stars are backing the campaign, and it has become a popular topic on the local web. The death of a student gang raped and thrown from a bus in New Delhi three months ago left many across India shocked, saddened and intent on doing more to protect women in India.
Video of the day
Surfing is great fun, the hard part is just getting up on that board … in this video uploaded by YouTube user HydRemote, we see a cute little seal pup confronted with this harsh reality. The hilarious images of the pup slipping and sliding are available to view on all good video sharing platforms.