Obama Offers Twitter Advice Amid Row Over Donald Trump’s Hate Retweet Row

NEW DELHI: When it comes to tweeting, former US President Barack Obama has some advice for all, including the current President Donald Trump: think hard before you tweet and don’t just post thoughts as they appear in your mind.

According to Mr Obama, you must think before you open your mouth, you must ponder over before you tweet and should not allow the first thing that pops into your head to become your thought to the world.

“I have many more followers on Twitter than those who use the social media tool more often. We should be mindful of the power the social media tools have and must post after weighing thoughts carefully,” Mr Obama told the gathering at the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Friday.

Mr Obama has 97.4 million followers on the micro-blogging platform while President Trump has 43.7 million followers.

Taking an apparent jibe at President Trump who is famous for introducing typos and spelling errors in his tweets, though without naming him, Mr Obama said: “Remember your parents when it comes to tweet, think first and post later. Before I tweet, I do spell check and use punctuation tool and don’t forget to put period at the end of the sentence,” Mr Obama chuckled.

President Trump, who has been tweeting round the clock, has grabbed global attention for typos and spelling errors, like “unpresidented act,” “honered” or the most hilarious one “covfefe” (that meant coverage).

“Think before you tweet so that you do not need to delete it later,” Mr Obama told the gathering during a question and answer session with seasoned journalist Karan Thapar.

According to Mr Obama, the habit of tweeting casually about sensitive subjects which may affect millions was not a healthy practice.

“Don’t just say ‘climate change is a hoax’ on Twitter as it shuts all doors to debate, to evaluate for various stakeholders. It is difficult for a democracy to work in that situation. If you say it is a hoax then there is no way we can build bridges,” Mr Obama emphasised.

President Trump has been issuing periodic statements, affirming his belief that man-made climate change is a myth.

“We need to do deep analysis with all stakeholders around the concerned topic and then evaluate it collectively. Don’t just scratch the surface and tweet,” Mr Obama added.

On a question of how the media is becoming biased, Mr Obama said: “This is part of a trend globally. In the US, Fox News and The New York Times have completely different viewpoints. If I watch Fox News, I won’t even vote for me! The NYT is doing things in its own ways,” Mr Obama said.

Fox News is tilted towards Trump while the NYT continues to question President Trump and his policies.