Since its debut back in 2006, Twitter has become a 140 character-based social media outlet that connects everyone to almost everyone. Since going online the site has introduced such phrases as “tweets” and “hashtag lingo” into our lives where it has become some day-to-day speech. From high-schoolers, to professional business men and woman, to celebrities, and even world leaders Twitter is an important outlet that connects everyone to anyone and enables you to share your personal political or simply idle thought with the whole world.
Recently, a poll revealed that amongst its millions of users who rely on the blue bird-logoed social media to get their thoughts out Latinos are estimated to be the highest users. Ranging from teens to adults, the site has become a daily tool for Latinos living across the world. And, it has become some Latino world leader’s personal podium.
Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez can be described as a habitual tweeter with an estimated 2.2 million followers who followed the president. According to President Fernandez, her Twitter is a way she can be connected to the people directly.
It seems that President Fernandez uses her Twitter occasionally, and can be a mass tweeter. In a single day she sent an estimated 60 tweets. The tweets in question were in response to a protest against her government led by thousands of Argentines.
In other occasions, President Fernandez has used Twitter as a personal podium to attack news media and her political opponents used the social media website to accuse them of trying to defame her by twisting the truth.
Now, the use of Twitter by world leaders isn’t odd or entirely new however in President Fernandez’s case it is since she almost never gives interviews or takes any question from reporters. So, the one way to reach President Fernandez is via Twitter and because of this her account has become a platform for public debate.
But President Fernandez isn’t all bark. When not addressing, or attacking, her opponents President Fernandez is using Twitter like every average user. From tweeting pictures of her with her dogs or people of influential standings like Pope Francis, President Fernandez uses her account to retell conversations she has had with Argentines and some personal tidbits about her favorite show.
On April 28th, President Fernandez tweeted: “I’m a fan of the series Games of Thrones. I love it.”
But while expressing her love of the medieval-themed fantasy, President Fernandez is not one to forger her not-so-friendly-possible-followers.
“When the DirecTV people came to see me to announce some investments I asked them if they could please get me season three … I’m sure that tomorrow someone from the opposition will denounce me for asking and receiving gifts.”
President Fernandez is just an example of Latino world leaders taking to the Twitterverse.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales recently took to his twitter account after his plane was grounded in Vienna after suspicions that he was harboring Edward Snowden who was being sought out by Americans for whistleblowing on the National Security Agency illegal surveilling on Americans citizens.
The suspicions were proved wrong, and did not keep other Latin world leaders from taking to Twitter to express their disapproval of President Morales’s mistreatment.
“All international immunities that protect heads of state have been violated for the empire’s obsession,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted, to his 1.3 million followers, condemning what the United States did to a head-of-state official.
Somewhat like President Fernandez, President Maduro has used Twitter to argue with former political and non-political members. In the past, President Maduro argued with former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and even Puerto Rican Latin superstar Ricky Martin. Amongst President Maduro’s Twitter feuds and rants, the president has slammed Venezuela’s rich.
When he isn’t arguing, President Maduro tweets fond memories of his predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chavez who died earlier this year.
Before succumbing to his long battle with cancer, Hugo Chavez was—and still is—the highest Latin world leaders to have followers. Since joining the social media site in late April of 2010, Chavez’s twitter account has steadily climbed to 4 million Twitter followers.
Venezuela is the leading Latin country to utilize Twitter as an essential tool to get out messages from the sides of a politically divided country. According to comScore (an internet analysis company providing market data on internet usage), it is estimated that 1 out of 4 Venezuelans in the country use Twitter habitually.
Javier Pereira, website coordinator of Venezuela’s El Nacional, said that Venezuelan officials “don’t communicate first by television, radio or a speech, but through Twitter,” and that by their reliance has changed the news media focused since their tweeting has “caused us to be alert, monitoring constantly.”
Along with Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina are among the top 10 list of the world’s Twitter users.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos ranks 3rd, after Hugo Chavez and President Fernandez, in a list of Latin American leaders to have the most followers with an estimated 2 million following his Twitter.
“I use it sometimes to send messages to clarify certain things, to communicate with the country,” said President Santos. “You sent out a tweet and immediately, if it’s something important, it comes out in the media. Instead of making so many press conferences, you use Twitter.”
Last year, Burson-Marsteller—a public relations firm—released a study that discovered almost two-thirds of world leaders are now on Twitter. The study describes how there are 264 government Twitter accounts in 125 countries.
While Latino may be the main users of the social media platform, and Latin world leaders continue to rise with followers, the most followed account of any world leader is United States President Barack Obama who leads with more than 35 million followers.
Since its induction into the World Wide Web, Twitter has become one of this world’s top modes of communication. While most use the site to poke fun or engage in Twitter feuds, the site has been used as an outlet for civilians to express they disapproval regarding their government or as a way to be heard under oppressive regimes. So, when you’re on Twitter about to dish out something 140 based material take a look and see what’s going on in the world outside of yours.