Tweets about Pope Francis mostly positive, say monitors

Almost six million tweets posted around globe

Tweets about Pope Francis mostly positive, say monitors

Rome, March 21 - Pope Francis has been the topic of almost six million tweets, mostly positive or neutral, posted around the globe in the week since his election, a monitoring agency said Thursday. More than 5.9 million tweets about the pope and the Catholic Church were posted since his election at a conclave in Rome on March 13, says Almaviva, a consulting company that has been monitoring Twitter account mentions on the topics. It found that on his election day, about 79% of comments about the new pope were positive or neutral while, another 21% had a negative or sarcastic tone. By the end of the first week, which included some critical reports about the pope, positive or neutral comments had increased to 90%. A division of Almaviva analyzed Twitter traffic in four languages that correspond to the main areas of concentration of Catholics in the world: Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese. In English language tweets, comments ranged from speculation about Francis's approach to social problems (almost 22%); its dealings with the poor (16.3%); and the first tweet by the new pope (14%). In Italian language tweets, 33% of tweets focused on the Church's dealings with the poor and 22% on Francis's first Angelus, the pope's traditional prayer. In contrast, Portuguese tweets were dominated by concerns with the Argentine native's activities and relationship with the government during his country's Dirty War in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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