Thousands duped as pope's 'first selfie' proved a fake

Yesterday, the pope almost broke the internet. An Instagram account claiming to be "the official IG of the Holy See" posted what was widely billed as the first papal selfie. It gained more than nine thousand likes in a matter of hours, a figure that has now risen to over 44,000.

The problem was, it wasn't the pope's first selfie. It turns out, it wasn't even a selfie at all.

In fact, it was a screen grab from a video chat he took part in last September.

#firstselfie of the Popeinstagram

Despite the pope having previously claimed to be a "dinosaur" when it comes to technology, several news outlets – including Yahoo News and CNN – fell prey to the joke post.

But it wasn't actually the first time the pope has been featured in a selfie. In 2013, a group of teenagers managed to snap a quick picture with Francis during a pilgrimage to Rome.


Monday's picture was posted by @vatican__ alongside the caption, "First #selfie #popeFrancis". Despite being an unofficial account, it boasts more than 183,000 followers. The verified Vatican feed has less than 52,000.