Tags: pope francis | first selfie | hoax

Pope Francis 'First Selfie' Hoax – It's Not a Selfie, or Even the First

Image: Pope Francis 'First Selfie' Hoax – It's Not a Selfie, or Even the First
 (Instagram)

By    |   Monday, 14 Dec 2015 12:09 PM

Pope Francis's "first selfie" is a hoax – not a selfie at all but an image taken from a video chat in 2014 – however the fake was good enough to fool numerous news outlets, including CNN, which also were unaware that his first selfie came long ago.

It was the second time in days that major news outlets were taken in. On Friday, a nationally trending story that claimed Mexican drug czar Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman had declared war on ISIS because jihadists destroyed a drug shipment was revealed as a hoax, but numerous news sites still ran with it, including Fox News.

The Pope selfie photo started making the rounds after appearing on an Instagram account on Monday morning and was picked up by several news outlets, said Mashable. The Vatican, though, said Pope Francis doesn't have an Instagram account.




One of the first tipoffs was that the photo posted on Instagram never appeared on the official Pope Francis Twitter account on Monday. The fake selfie received more than 10,000 likes and 400 comments on Instagram on Monday morning.

"The purported 'selfie' immediately raised red flags due in part to Pope Francis' typically humble nature," said Megan Specia of Mashable. "During a visit to the U.S. earlier this year, Pope Francis warned an audience of 'chasing likes' on social media."

CNN first trumpeted the "selfie" on Twitter, but later came back with a correction.


Others did not catch the spoof.


It's not the first time people have tried to get close to the Pope Francis through social media. In September, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on an app that allowed people to take fake selfies with the pontiff.

The Pope Selfie app was featured on Product Hunt in September, and was free with iPhone, iPad and iPad touch devices. Users were greeted with a horizontal front-facing camera view and a smiling picture of the pope.


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Pope Francis's "first selfie" is a hoax – not a selfie at all but an image taken from a video chat in 2014 – however the fake was good enough to fool numerous news outlets, including CNN, which also were unaware that his first selfie came long ago.
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2015-09-14
Monday, 14 Dec 2015 12:09 PM
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