Pope Francis most popular name online, survey says

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2013 / 11:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new global survey has revealed that Pope Francis has topped the list of names most mentioned on the internet so far this year, with his twitter account also receiving a high ranking on a list of most mentioned words.

“It’s official: Pope Francis is the most talked about person on the planet,” CNN’s “Belief Blog” co-editor Daniel Burke wrote in a Nov. 12 post.

“More folks have been chatting about the popular new pontiff online this year than Edward Snowden, Kate Middleton or even Miley Cyrus.”

The statistics, noted by Burke in his post, come from the 14th annual survey of the Global Language Monitor, which is a company based in Texas that tracks “top talkers” on the worldwide web.

According to Burke, the Monitor divides its research into the categories of “top words, top phrases and top names,” and base their research on the analysis of “English-language blogs, social media and 275,000 electronic and online news media.”

In this year’s survey, the Monitor found that Pope Francis came out as number one on the list of the most talked about names, followed by Obamacare, The National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, and Kate Middleton.

On the list of the most popular words mentioned online, the Monitor found that the Pope’s twitter handle, @Pontifex, came in fourth, stating that it was beat out by the words “404” – the code for a broken webpage – along with “fail” and “hashtag,” which is used to denote different topics on twitter.

President of the Global Language Monitor Paul Payack revealed that the words “’404’ and ‘fail’ got a big boost from the problematic launch of the Obama administration's website for purchasing health care under the Affordable Care Act,” Burke wrote.

In separate post written on the “Belief Blog” earlier this month, Burke spoke of the fact that the new pontiff seems to be gaining popularity even amongst atheists.

In light of the Pope’s “spontaneous acts of compassion,” Burke noted that Pope Francis has not only “earned high praise from fellow Catholics,” but that “even atheists love him.”

During a Nov. 7 video interview posted on the blog, Burke expressed his opinion that the pontiff’s popularity is growing because “we see a lot of religious leaders who talk about reaching out to the poor and the marginalized…but we finally see a religious figure who actually putting his hands on it, who's actually embracing these people physically.”

Burke then quoted several twitter posts from atheists written on the same day as the interview, including one by a woman who states that “I may be an atheist, but there's something about Pope Francis that makes me want to be Catholic. He's so inspiring.”

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