President Twitter? Rafael Correa ranks third among world leaders in the use of Twitter to spread his message and attack critics

May 5, 2015

Ecuador President Rafael Correa ranks third in the world in Twitter use by presidents and prime ministers according to a survey by the U.S. public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

President Rafael Correa

President Rafael Correa

Correa trails only Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway in Tweets.

The survey analyzed 669 Twitter accounts of presidents and other top government officials in 166 countries. Through late April, Correa had sent 7,999 Tweets since he opened his account in October 2010.

In South America, Correa is followed in Twitter use by Argentina’s Cristina Fernández, Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos, and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro.

In the cases of Kagame and Correa, the use of Twitter often seems to get them in trouble.

Last November, Kagame tweeted that he would like to teach an opponent a lesson with a “sharp machete,” a tool that conjures up grisly memories in his part of Africa.

Correa stirred up a storm in March when he tweeted “Heil Hitler” in response to a critic’s charge that he was a “typical fascist.” In February, he fired back at jokes by comedian John Oliver. Oliver had the last word in that encounter, however, advising Correa: “Rafael, you should stick to being president. Believe me, you will never win a battle on social media.”

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