The Vatican has launched an investigation after the Pope’s official Instagram account liked a photo of a model in a revealing schoolgirl outfit.
It is unclear when the account gave the image of Natalia Garibotto the papal approval, but according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the ‘like’ was still visible on 13 November, before being rescinded the next day.
Garibotto, who has 2.4 million Instagram followers, is reported to have joked about the incident on Twitter saying, “At least I’m going to heaven.”
COY Co, Garibotto’s management and publicity firm, used the papal account’s like for publicity purposes, posting on its account Friday that the firm had “received the POPE’S OFFICIAL BLESSING.”
A Vatican spokesperson has told the Guardian, “We can exclude that the ‘like’ came from the Holy See, and it has turned to Instagram for explanations.”
There is both an internal investigation to find out how the image was ‘liked’ via the account, and the Vatican has also said it was seeking explanations from Instagram about the incident.
Does the pope use social media himself?
The Pope has a hugely popular social media following. On Instagram, under the username franciscus, he has 7.4 million followers, and on Twitter he has 18.8 million.
However, the Pope doesn’t follow the model of other leaders, like President Donald Trump, as his various social media accounts are managed by a team of people within the communication team of the Vatican.
On Twitter, he tweets in several different languages, including English, Spanish and Italian.