- Pope Francis' official Instagram account liked a racy photo of a model in school uniform, but the Vatican said it has nothing to do with him or the Holy See.
- On November 13, several news outlets reported that a like from the pontiff's account had appeared on an October 5 post from the Brazilian model Natalia Garibotto.
- "We can exclude that the 'like' came from the Holy See, and it has turned to Instagram for explanations," a Vatican spokesperson told the Guardian.
- Garibotto later tweeted: "At least I'm going to heaven."
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The official Instagram account of Pope Francis liked a photo of a Brazilian model wearing a school uniform, but the Vatican says the pontiff had nothing to do with it.
"We can exclude that the 'like' came from the Holy See, and it has turned to Instagram for explanations," a Vatican spokesperson told The Guardian.
The Catholic News Agency also reported that the pope's social media accounts are managed by multiple employees, and that the Holy See has launched an internal investigation to find out what happened.
The exact date of the like is unconfirmed, but it came between the posting of the photo on October 5 and November 13, when tabloid news outlets began reporting on the news.
The Pope's account has since unliked the post.
The woman in the photo has been identified as Brazilian model and Twitch streamer Natalia Garibotto, who has 2.7 million followers on Instagram.
On November 13, Garibotto retweeted Barstool Sports' screenshot of her post, which showed that the Pope's account had liked it, adding: "At least I'm going to heaven."
Earlier that day she tweeted: "Brb on my way to the Vatican."
COY Co, an agency that represents Garibotto, wrote on Instagram that she had "received the POPE'S OFFICIAL BLESSING."
Though he has accounts on all major social media platforms, Pope Francis has in recent years heavily criticized social media culture.
In a June 2019 blessing at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis said: "The more we use social media, the less social we are becoming."
"Nowadays it is fashionable to hurl adjectives."
Though it remains unclear who liked Garibotto's Instagram photo, the Vatican is no strangers to hackers.
In July 2020, a team of experts at Recorded Future found that state-backed Chinese hackers had gained access to the Vatican's computer networks several times from May 2020.
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