Obama's advice for Twitter users: Have a bit of an 'edit function'

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U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama holds up an iPad during a visit to Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland February 4, 2014. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Former US President Barack Obama offered a piece of advice in using Twitter on Friday as he spoke during a forum in India. He appeared to throw shade at his successor without even mentioning the name of US President Donald Trump when he said to “think before you tweet.”

Journalist Karan Thapar had the opportunity to speak with the former POTUS at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi. Although he does not use Twitter as much as Trump does, Obama has more followers, almost 100 hundred million. On the other hand, Trump has 44 million.

As they talked about technology, Thapar mentioned how some politicians take their thoughts to Twitter. Obama did not fail to notice that particular use of technology.

"We're just beginning to understand what some of the inherent or built-in challenges exist within these new technology,” he said. He was quick to add that it leads to snap judgements, a lot of it.

For the former leader of the free world, thinking before tweeting is the same principle as thinking before speaking. Obama’s advice for people using Twitter or other social media platforms is to have a “little bit of an edit function.”

Obama cited a situation in which people get into trouble for tweeting something that just pops into their head, then eventually trying to delete it. In a more general discussion on technology, Obama said he thinks people must be mindful about the power and limits of these tools to understand how it can be used for the good. His wife and former US first lady Michelle Obama also recently spoke about self-control and social media in Canada.

As for Trump’s use of Twitter, some want him to delete his social media account. "Wouldn't the world be a better place if the Prime Minister could persuade the President of the United States to delete his Twitter account?" Conservative MP Peter Bone had asked Home Secretary Amber Rudd, ​the Evening Standard reports.

Twitter previously said Trump’s posts may not be taken down because they are “newsworthy.” The social media giant does not suspend Trump despite his past tweets targeting North Korea, maintaining that Twitter is considering several factors when determining whether tweets breach its rules.

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