Malala Joins Twitter, Shoots to 360k Followers (and Climbing) First Day

Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner celebrates graduating high school by signing up on social media

Last Updated: July 7, 2017 @ 10:00 PM

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who was the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner when she received the honor in 2014, joined Twitter Friday to celebrate graduating high school. By day’s end, she was pushing 400,000 followers.

She overcame incredible odds to make it to school at all: In October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for demanding that girls have the right to an education, in defiance of the extremist group’s wishes. She recovered and went on to attend school in the UK.

“Today is my last day of school and my first day on @Twitter,” tweeted Yousafzai, who wrote about her experience in the 2013 book “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.”

“Graduating from secondary school (high school) is bittersweet for me. I’m excited about my future, but … I know that millions of girls around the world are out of school and may never get the opportunity to complete their education,” she also tweeted Friday.

“Next week, I will be back on my #GirlPowerTrip to meet girls in Middle East, Africa & Latin America,” she continued. “Each girl’s story is unique  –  and girls’ voices are our most powerful weapons in the fight for education and equality … On and off Twitter, I’m fighting for girls –  will you join me?​”

Before she starts college in the fall, she’s on a mission to spend as much time as possible meeting girls around the world and fighting for their future. She kicked off her Girl Power Trip in April, visiting with girls in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Information about her next stops can be found on her website by clicking here.

Social media welcomed her with open arms, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who tweeted, “You continue to inspire me, @Malala. Thanks to you, young women around the world can dream of a brighter future for themselves.”

But there was one virtual hug that took some of her new followers by surprise…

… until everyone realized it wasn’t posted by @realDonaldTrump (the POTUS’ account), but rather by a parody account called @niceDonaldTrump.