Michelle Obama on Twitter: ’You don’t just say what’s on your mind’ – video
In words interpreted as criticism of the US president, Obama warns of the dangers of using social media without thinking
Michelle Obama has warned young people of the dangers of using social media without thinking. Speaking at the inaugural summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago, to laughter from the audience, the former first lady said: “You don’t just say what’s on your mind. You don’t tweet every thought. Most of your first initial thoughts are not worthy of the light of day.”
Despite stating: “I’m not talking about anybody in particular,” Obama’s words were widely interpreted as being a sideswipe at Donald Trump’s behaviour on Twitter.
She said: “You’re the first lady or the president, the commander-in-chief, and you have that voice. You have that power. What comes with that is responsibility to know that every word you utter has consequences.”
Her warning to young people that social media was “a powerful weapon” also urged people to think about the way they express themselves. “Just tell it like it is. No, you don’t. You need to think, and spell it right, and have good grammar.”
Obama also had a message for female voters in the US, saying: “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.
“What does it mean for us as women that we look at those two candidates, and many of us said, ‘That guy, he’s better for me, his voice is more true to me.’”
According to CNN exit polls after the 2016 election, a slight majority of 53% white women voted for Trump. An overwhelming 94% of black women supported Clinton, as did 68% of Latino women.
Obama’s own use of social media has been widely praised in the past, particularly on the Vine platform, where she would pick up on pop culture references. Her #TurnipForWhat Vine has been watched more than 55m times.