President of Ecuador on Twitter: “Heil Hitler!”

Rafael Correra is the President of Ecuador.  He has also officially tweeted the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen the leader of a country tweet.

Twitter user @WKyabalion had just tweeted that the former President of Ecuador, Osvaldo Hurtado, had called President Correra a fascist.  Stunningly, and perhaps sarcastically, Correra responded as such:

The story, of course, has become an international one.  Correra has a reputation for tweeting his foes and those who attack him; according to an article on the topic by Vox, the Twitter fights serve a political purpose for Correra:

The more time he spends fighting with others, the more he can position himself as a vanguard of change and resistance against Ecuador’s enemies, rather than an increasingly oppressive guardian of the status quo. That has allowed him to rally his supporters around the cause of nationalism and has provided a handy rationale for targeting journalists and political opponents.

In other words, Correra runs an authoritarian government, and uses Twitter to attack his opponents and position himself accordingly.  In that sense, in a bizarre way, Correra uses the medium to politically promote himself, albeit in a manner which is (thankfully) alien and disgusting to Americans.

As The Hill notes, Correra has attacked others on Twitter in the past – after John Oliver ran a segment attacking him, Correra tweeted, “Regarding John Oliver: too much noise for such little nuts.  Talk show hosts are more unfriendly than a diuertic.”  Still, even for a character like Correra, this was an oddly inflammatory tweet.  Generally speaking, world leaders do not tweet phrases that are symbolic of one of the worst periods in modern history.

The lesson here…come on.  Do I really need to say it?

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

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