During the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, India, Obama spoke on the power that social media has as a transformative tool and one that can be used to shape a global message, but he also gave politicians looking to use its power a warning:
“Think before you tweet,” Obama said, seemingly throwing a light-hearted jab at President Donald Trump.
“Look, I’ve got 100 million Twitter followers,” he continued. “I actually have more than other people who use it more often.”
For the record, Trump has just over 43 million followers on Twitter.
What’s more, Obama threw some subtle shade at Trump’s infamous typos. He didn’t say “covfefe,” but we were all thinking it when he said that he likes to spellcheck and use proper punctuation when he posts on social media.
“Which my daughters think is odd,” Obama said. “They were explaining to us how if you put a period at the end of a sentence it sounds harsh. I said, ‘No, that’s English. That’s how you know the thought is finished.’”
While Obama made it a point not to call out the president by name, he did invite people to examine themselves when confronted with politicians that they disagreed with.
“If you see a politician doing things that are questionable, one of the things as a citizen is to ask yourself, ‘Am I encouraging, or supporting or giving license to the values I’m hearing out of the politician?’” he said.
“Because frankly, politicians tend to be more of a mirror and more of a reflection of forces in the society.”