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updated 12/6/2012 9:17:33 AM ET 2012-12-06T14:17:33

The race between Pope Benedict XVI and Justin Bieber is on.

Twitter's announcement that Pope Benedict XVI had launched a Twitter account and would begin tweeting live to answer questions on Dec. 12 has sparked a new competition to see who is the most popular on Twitter — the pontiff or Bieber.

Already, the so-called smackdown has logged more than a 900,000 votes, with teen heartthrob  Bieber  out in front by a mile, receiving more than 10 votes to each one for the pope.

The contest is being run through  andthewinner.is, a new real-time Twitter voting platform, designed by a pair of Italian hackers, Nick Balestra and partner Matteo Agosti. Each time the hashtag #popevsbieber is included in a tweet along with @pontifex or @justinbieber, a vote is tallied. Re-tweets count too.

While he may not beat the Bieb, the pope is still making a good showing on the social network. He has already reached No. 13 in overall Twitter influence in just a few days, according to Twitalyzer, a company that keeps track of the prominent on Twitter. (Bieber, however, is currently No. 3.) [Read more:  Pope Challenges Bieber for Twitter Supremacy ]

© 2012 InnovationNewsDaily.com. All rights reserved. More from InnovationNewsDaily.com.

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