Social media has had to negotiate some tricky water lately. While claiming to no be a publisher, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have had to step in when world leaders make inflammatory claims. This often irritates the leaders and their governments. Yesterday, Twitter deleted a post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari stating it violated Twitter rules.
Today, the Nigerian Government struck back by suspending the use of Twitter in Nigeria completely for an undetermined period of time.
The Tweet By Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, posted a tweet from his account on Tuesday. It stated that “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand”.
Twitter responded by saying this Tweet “was in violation of the Twitter Rules. The account owner will be required to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours with their account in read-only mode”.
On Wednesday, Twitter intervened and removed the tweet in question, replacing it with a “no longer available” placeholder.
Nigeria Suspends Twitter
Today, a press release, somewhat ironically released on Twitter via the official Twitter account of The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Nigeria suspended Twitter from operating in Nigeria. Prior to the suspension, Nigerian Information Minister Lai Mohammed said that “Twitter may have its own rules; it’s not the universal rule” and that if the President is “concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views”.
Today’s press release states:
The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting l Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) June 4, 2021
The tweet is also interesting if you’re into Twitter Ratios.
It’s unclear how such a suspension will operate in reality. In tests conducted locally by Reuters today, Twitter continues to function normally both online and in-app.
This is a developing news story that will continue to be updated…