Nigerian President tweet removed, country suspends Twitter

By the Daily Friend

Nigeria has suspended Twitter – and threatened to prosecute anyone breaching the temporary ban – after the social media giant deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the post breached the site’s rules.

According to the BBC, those who saw the post, which referred to Nigeria’s civil war four decades ago, suggested it could have been taken as a veiled threat towards a secessionist movement in the south-east of the country

The Nigerian government said on Saturday the tweet’s removal was ‘disappointing’, but not the only reason for the ‘temporary’ suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

‘There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real world violent consequences,’ the government said.

The platform was allowing ‘the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages’ that ‘could tear some countries apart’, a spokesperson said.

The spokesperson told the BBC yesterday that Nigeria would prosecute anyone found to have breached the country’s Twitter ban.

The news report said mobile phone networks blocked access after being ordered to do so, but some users were getting around the ban.

Twitter described the suspension as ‘deeply concerning’. It has also been condemned by human rights groups and others, who say it will limit free speech in Nigeria.

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