UPDATED: Twitter is banned in Nigeria

Twitter erased a message by Buhari on Wednesday because it broke its "abusive behavior" policy.
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President Muhammadu Buhari at the 29th Forum of Heads of State and Government of Participating States of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa on 8th Feb, 2020

In Summary

  • after it removed president's tweet
  • US, Canada, Ireland, EU, UK, Dissatisfied With Nigeria Twitter ban, says decision violates fundamental freedom
  • AGF Orders Arrest and Punishment of Twitter Users In Nigeria

Nigeria Government has barred Twitter access in the country, after the removal earlier this week of a message by President  Muhammadu Buhari from the social media platform.

The government of Nigeria has stopped Twitter "indefinitely" due to "persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence," according to a series of tweets from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Friday.

Twitter erased a message by Buhari on Wednesday because it broke its "abusive behavior" policy. Buhari served in the army during the civil war in Nigeria's Biafra area in the late 1960s and was Nigeria's military dictator in the 1980s, and the tweet was addressed at modern-day secessionists who have been accused of assaults on government institutions.

Buhari's erased tweet added,

"Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat" the secessionists "in the language they understand". A million people were murdered in the civil war, according to reports.

Many Nigerians are circumventing the ban by utilizing virtual private networks to access Twitter. Twitter is one of the major forums for Nigerians to criticize their government. The government has ordered that Twitter users be arrested and prosecuted.

"We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society," Twitter stated in a tweet from its public policy account on Saturday. "We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world".

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have been attempting to find out how to handle politicians' problematic remarks.

Recall that Former United States President Donald Trump, because of worries that his posts would incite violence, Twitter has permanently banned him. In a recent update, Facebook suspended Trump indefinitely, and the company said on Friday that the suspension will remain until at least 2023.

Before banning Trump, Twitter had hidden a number of his tweets with warning labels that offered links to extra information and context, allowing readers to click through to read the tweet if they so desired.

Twitter, for example, censored a Trump message that it said promoted violence. "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," Trump declared in a tweet amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd. He suggested he'd send in the National Guard to "get the job done right" in a prior tweet.

Trump has regularly alleged that social media firms discriminate against conservatives without providing evidence. The firms, for their part, have refuted this on several occasions.

The state of Florida enacted a bill last month that would punish Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other digital companies if they removed politicians off their services.