ABUJA – The Nigerian Government has announced it will ban the use of Twitter indefinitely following the social media company’s action on President Muhammadu Buhari’s account.
The ban comes two days after the company caused offense by deleting the President’s tweet that threatened violence against the people in the country’s southeast. Twitter’s public policies specifically state the removal of violent threats.
The decision, announced by the Ministry of Information and Culture was ironically posted on Twitter. “The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” it read.
Twitter said in a statement that it is “deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria.” “Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society. We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world,” it posted in a public policy statement.
The move comes amidst mounting public pressure on social media platforms to better monitor their sites against political manipulation and campaigns of misinformation across the globe, as well as calls for greater freedom of speech.
Twitter has removed numerous tweets and banned several political leaders in the recent past. Most famously, the company suspended ex-US President Donald Trump’s account earlier this year, citing two tweets posted after the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol.