Recently, Twitter banned in Nigeria and the Nigerian Government joined Twitter’s rival app ‘Koo’ after it was suspended in the country. Such an action is considered a response to deleting the Nigerian President’s tweet. Though it’s not the first time such a controversy happened across the world. However, its consequences may vary this time.
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Why Twitter banned in Nigeria?
Last Tuesday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted,
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigeria civil war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
The tweet targets the groups that the government blamed for the recurring attacks on public offices; a call made from the unrest southeast part of the country.
This tweet was taken down by Twitter for violating Twitter’s “Abusive Behaviour” policy. As per Twitter, Buhari’s tweet threatening the group taking reference to the Civil war of 1970 in Nigeria violated its rule.
Since this happened, two days after the Nigerian government announced to suspended Twitter in the country. In addition to this, the Nigerian government put forth its concern over secessionist movements that gained popularity on Twitter; for instance, #BringBackOurGirls(2014). They also expressed uncertainty that the microblogging site has double standards after supporting a mission like #EndSARS (2020).
How do other democratic countries see it?
While this happened; a joint statement protesting the ban has been issued by other diplomatic missions of the EU, US, Britain, Canada, and Ireland.
“We strongly support the fundamental right of free expression and access to information as a pillar of democracy in Nigeria as around the world and these rights apply online as well as offline. Banning system of expression is not the answer,”
However, when the present US government condemns, the former American President Donald Trump is acting chalk and cheese. He congratulates that Twitter banned in Nigeria; and he urged other countries to ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing “free and open speech”.