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Nigeria blocks Twitter after it deleted president’s post


Twitter has been banned in Nigeria after it deleted a post by the country’s president — and the government announced the decision on Twitter.

Twitter has been “suspended indefinitely” in the country, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture wrote in a Friday Twitter thread, citing “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.” 

The ban comes after Twitter deleted a Tuesday post by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in which he said he would treat “those misbehaving today” in “the language they understand” — interpreted as a threat of violence against a secessionist movement in the country. Twitter said the tweet violated its “abusive behavior” policy.

Residents of Africa’s most populous country who try to use virtual private networks — or VPNs — to get around the ban will be prosecuted, CNN reported

In response, Twitter said that it was “deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria” and pledged to “restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter.” 

The Twitter app.
Nigeria’s decision to ban Twitter comes just two months after the company said in April that it would open its first Africa office in Ghana. 
AP

The spat comes just two months after Twitter said in April that it would open its first Africa office in Ghana. 

Amnesty International condemned the ban, calling on the Nigerian government to “reverse the unlawful suspension and other plans to gag the media, repress the civic space, and undermine Nigerians’ human rights.”

While Buhari’s individual tweet in question was deleted, the president’s account with 4.1 million followers remained online as of Monday morning. 

Buhari’s full deleted tweet read: “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.”

Buhari served in the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, which killed an estimated one million people. In recent months, his government has accused secessionist groups of attacking police and government buildings. 





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