THE world of social media has reached a new landmark with the news that the Pope now has a personal Twitter account.
Just for His Holiness, we offer exclusive Copy and Paste Tweeting tips, and pray that he does not suffer some the unholy pitfalls encountered by other social media celebs.
It is unlikely that Benedict will be tapping away on an iPad during Mass in St Peter’s Square, and snapping pics of his new red shoes. He apparently prefers to write missives in longhand.
But the Twitter machine should be handled with caution.
1. Be careful who does your tweeting, your Holiness. Don’t give the task to that pesky butler who leaked all those documents.
Even tweeters at huge companies can make off-colour comments such as the Tweeter on the official Chrysler account who posted the message: “@chryslerautos I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive.”
2. Don’t do a David Cameron. If you are going to get down with the kids and dabble in text speak, make sure you know what the abbreviations mean. Like many an embarrassing parent, the British Prime Minister sent text messages to Murdoch executive Rebekah Brooks with the sign-off LOL, thinking it means “Lots of Love”, rather than “Laugh Out Loud”.
Watch out, Popey.This kind of gaffe could be disastrous if you were sending Twitter condolences to the Sultan of Brunei.
If you make the same gaffe your millions of followers will be ROFL. That means “Rolling On The Floor Laughing’’, not “Redemptorists Over For Lunch’’.
3. Remember, your Holiness, not to mix up your ordinary Tweets with your Direct Messages, which are supposed to be private.
Don’t do that, or your Vatican mobile could be buzzing for days on end with all sorts of randomers ringing up morning, noon and night, asking for prayers.
4. Don’t drink and tweet. Of course, it is most unlikely that you will go on the lash, but if one of your social media minions tipples too much of the Altar wine, do NOT let them near the Vatican Twitter machine.
There were red faces all round at the American Red Cross when the official account put out the message: “@RedCross Ryan found two more four bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer. When we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd’’
5. Make sure your Tweets are in good taste.
Don’t use some big global news story to promote your next big prayerfest.
We are sure that you will not repeat the gaffe of American fashion designer Kenneth Cole who tried to exploit the Arab Spring.
"@KennethCole Millions are in uproar in # Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online."
If you follow these tips you’ll be grand, your holiness. Before long you’ll be getting more retweets than Justin Bieber, and the Dalai Lama will come over all jealous.