Nigerian gov’t says it ‘indefinitely’ suspends Twitter
(Aljazeera) – Nigeria has said it is indefinitely suspending Twitter’s operations in the country, two days after the social media network removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists for attacks on government buildings.
Twitter was still working in the country soon after Friday’s announcement by the government, which did not give any time for the start of the suspension.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed said the government had acted because of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
Mohammed did not spell out what form the suspension would take or give more details on the undermining activities. His ministry also announced Twitter’s suspension on Twitter.
On Wednesday, the United States tech giant said Buhari’s post threatening to punish groups blamed for attacks on government buildings had violated Twitter’s “abusive behaviour” policy.
In April, Lai had reacted angrily when Twitter chose neighbouring Ghana for its first African office. He said the company had been influenced by media misrepresentations of Nigeria, including reports of crackdowns on protests against police brutality last year.
Demonstrators mobilising under the #ENDSARS hashtag had used social media to organise, raise money and share alleged proof of police harassment.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey had tweeted at the time to encourage his followers to donate.
In the protests’ wake, Mohammed called for “some form of regulation” on social media to combat “fake news”.