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Mar 12, 2013 8:18 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Social media's role in conclave announcement

TUCSON - Social media will play a big role in how Catholics learn when the new pope is selected, experts say.

Dr. Sudha Ram, a professor at the University of Arizona said many people will learn the news via Twitter or Facebook instead of the traditional means of TV, newspaper or radio.

"So as soon as they see white smoke coming out and they see the pope candidate being announced it's going to be all over the Twitter world, social media world," Ram explained.

Students and staff at St. Augustine Catholic High School are keeping watching over the internet, Twitter and apps specifically designed to monitor the conclave, "pope alarm will send you a text message, or email as soon as there is white smoke. So I signed up for that," said Kaitylnn Williams, a junior.

The principal Lynn Cuffari said she has the pope app,"if the information is available and we have time to filter it and I know that it's valid why not? Why not have that at my fingertips," she said.

Cuffair said she and her staff would be monitoring the conclave's decision closely and make a announcement if a decision is reached during school hours. She said the school would also have a mass once a next pontiff is selected.

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