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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Nigeria to droop Twitter ‘indefinitely’

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The Twitter utility is seen on a telephone display screen August 3, 2017

Nigeria’s authorities is suspending Twitter operations within the nation “indefinitely”, the nation’s info minister has introduced.

The ban is because of “the persistent use of the platform for actions… able to undermining Nigeria’s company existence”, a press release stated.

Twitter stated the announcement on Friday was “deeply regarding”.

It comes simply days after a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari was eliminated for breaching the positioning’s guidelines.

The assertion from the Nigerian authorities didn’t point out the row over the eliminated tweet.

However Data Minister Lai Mohammed beforehand criticised the US social media large’s determination to take it down, calling it “double requirements”.

The location – which was nonetheless accessible to customers in Nigeria following Friday’s announcement – eliminated a tweet despatched by Nigeria’s 78-year-old president on 1 June.

It referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil Battle and to treating “these misbehaving as we speak” in “the language they’ll perceive”.

A Twitter spokesperson stated on the time that the publish “was in violation of the Twitter Guidelines. The account proprietor might be required to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with their account in read-only mode”. The assertion gave no additional particulars.

And in a press release on Friday, the corporate stated it was “investigating and can present updates after we know extra” concerning the Nigerian ban.

The federal government gave no particulars on how the ban would work in apply, or any rationalization of how Twitter had undermined Nigeria’s company existence.

Its assertion additionally revealed that the nationwide broadcasting regulator, NBC, has been informed to start out “the method of licensing all OTT [internet streaming services] and social media operations in Nigeria”.

A very long time coming

Evaluation by Nduka Orjinmo, BBC Information, Abuja

The Nigerian authorities has toyed with the concept of regulating social media within the nation, and this administration has been obsessive about the concept because it got here into workplace in 2015. Deleting the president’s tweet, nevertheless, was seen as the ultimate straw.

But it surely was the position Twitter performed within the #EndSars anti-police brutality protests which shook Nigeria final yr that really sealed its destiny.

The demonstrations have been principally organised on the platform and the corporate’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, made donations to one of many main teams of organisers. A particular emoji was additionally created for the protests.

Twitter helped give Nigeria’s many youths a voice. However within the eyes of the federal government, the corporate’s position in galvanising the nation’s younger inhabitants was a line crossed.

But the federal government seems to not have reckoned with the ingenuity of #EndSars protesters. Individuals are already downloading VPNs to bypass the block when it occurs.

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