February 11, 2013

In his first month on Twitter, Pope Benedict sent two dozen mini-messages in nine languages, generating more than 270,000 comments and responses from other Twitter users, according to a study.

While some of the comments were harsh and even obscene, negative comments accounted for about eight per cent of the total, according to the magazine Popoli and the media firm Oogo.

They published their "sentiment analysis" of tweeted reactions to Pope Benedict Jan. 28.

According to the study, more than 200,000 – about 82 per cent – of the responses were simply retweets or "neutral" comments on what the pope tweeted, in 140 or fewer characters, Dec. 12-Jan. 15 through his @Pontifex accounts.

Nearly 10 per cent of the tweeted reactions were positive, the study found.