A tweet from Barack Obama condemning right-wing violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville has become the most liked in Twitter history.
The tweet uses Nelson Mandela’s famous quote, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion” alongside a picture of the ex-president with some children. It currently has more than three million likes.
Obama’s tweet passes the record set by Ariana Grande back in May, when she tweeted following the attack on her concert in Manchester: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.”
The former President send out a string of tweets, all quoting Mandela’s memoirs, Long Walk to Freedom.
"People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love..."— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
"...For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." - Nelson Mandela— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
At the time of writing, each tweet has more than a million likes, with the first tweet also reaching a million retweets. Six of the 10 most liked tweets of all time are from Barack Obama.
Obama’s tweets came after several days of violence at a rally of white supremacists at Charlottesville, Virginia. Protesters came with burning Tiki torches, with many also wearing Nazi and fascist symbols. Anti-fascist campaigners who came to protest the rally were met with violence, with activist Heather Heyer killed when white supremacist James Field drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. 35 people were injured at the rally.
The FBI are now investigating Heyer’s death.
The rally, which was organised by ultra-nationalist Jason Kessler, was ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee from a park in the town. Protesters were also heard shouting slogans including “blood and soil” and “white lives matter”.
Counter-protests have already happened, with one anti-racism rally in North Carolina culminating in the toppling of a Confederate statue.