Nigeria Suspends Twitter indefinitely After A Tweet of the President of a Sovereign Country was deleted and his account suspended for 12 hours.
The Nigerian government on June 4 announced the suspension of Twitter, claiming that the activities on the social media giant were undermining the country’s “corporate existence”.
“The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” said a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension “citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, the statement added.
The ban on Twitter, notably, comes two days after the microblogging site deleted a tweet of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, and suspended his account for 12 hours.
Buhari had threatened to punish groups blamed for attacks on police and govt buildings – Twitter removed the post for violating its “abusive behavior” policy.
In the now-deleted tweet, Buhari had warned secessionist elements in Biafra – blamed for the attack on the country’s security personnel – of a befitting crackdown.
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war,” he had tweeted. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” added Buhari, who was a brigade major during the civil war in 1967.
Twitter have been accused of being ‘BIASED’ against Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari – by the govt’s minister of information.
The minister also said that Twitter’s mission in Nigeria was “suspicious,” adding: When people were burning police stations and killing policeman in Nigeria […] for Twitter, it was about the right to protest. But when a similar thing happened on the Capitol, it became insurrection.”
After several users reported the tweet, Twitter decided to delete the post, and suspend Buhari’s account for 12 hours. The company defended its action claiming that the President’s account had violated its policy on “abusive behavior”.
The Nigerian government, apart from announcing the ban on Twitter, has also directed the country’s broadcast commission to commence the process of “licensing” all social media operations in Nigeria. The move is expected to regulate the use of social media platforms in the African nation.
Twitter was still working in Nigeria soon after Friday’s statement. When asked about the decision, ministry special assistant Segun Adeyemi told AFP: “I can’t answer technicalities… operations will be suspended indefinitely.”
Twitter an Internet Colonizer
Twitter has been acting a lot like an Internet Colonizer. Earlier Twitter had suspended account of former US President Donald Trump. There was a lot of protest by Trump supporters. Thereafter twitter suspended millions of Trump followers as well from its platform.
Twitter has also recently come under a lot of fire from India. Twitter had decided to put its own rules above Indian laws and refused to withhold or suspend accounts that have been accused of inciting violence in the country. Twitter has been dealing with many accounts in an arbitrary manner that spread inflammatory messages. The result is that anyone can targeting Hindus and their faith, incite violence. But if any Hindus respond, their handles are suspended.
In May 2021, A day after the opposition Congress party, which is in dock over the latest toolkit fiasco, wrote a letter to micro-blogging site Twitter asking it to permanently suspend the accounts of BJP leaders for allegedly “spreading misinformation”, the micro-blogging website seems to have followed the diktat as it flagged the ‘toolkit expose’ tweet of ruling BJP Party leader Sambit Patra as ‘manipulated media’.
Indian Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that social media companies are welcome to do business in India but they must follow the law. In an Interview, he said, “Twitter is a platform, not a regulator. To regulate, they say they have kept fact-checkers. Who are these fact-checkers? I want to know their names and how they have been appointed. Some of these fact-checkers have one agenda, Hate Modi. Twitter could not find any neutral fact-checkers in such a big country? This question needs to be raised. Twitter should just follow India’s laws.”
Points to Ponder
Shouldn’t all the countries work towards ending the monopoly of Twitter platform and encourage other social media apps in their respective countries?
China has already banned Twitter. Now Nigeria has also banned twitter. Shouldn’t more countries aggrieved by arbitrary policies of Twitter ban Twitter in their respective countries as well?
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