The Nigerian government banned access to Twitter after the social media giant deleted a fiery tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari. Critics say it was a move to suppress conservative posts and ban their own users.
On Saturday morning, Twitter announced a free and open internet is essential to human rights in modern society; this is after the Nigerian government decides to ban the social media giant.
This decision was made once Twitter deleted a tweet made by the Nigerian President, which many believed was a move to suppress conservative content.
The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) June 4, 2021
On Friday night, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture tweeted that the federal government decided to suspend the operations of Twitter in Nigeria indefinitely.
In addition to this, Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed also declared the Nigerian government would start licensing social media platforms and over-the-top operations which deliver content directly to internet viewers.
In response to this, Twitter’s public policy division tweeted that they are “deeply concerned” by the ban of Twitter in Nigeria.
Twitter added that access to the “free and open” internet is a fundamental human right in modern society. Accordingly, Twitter’s public division also stated that they would work to restore access for the people in Nigeria who, according to them, rely on Twitter to connect with the world and communicate.
Twitter: Access to free and open internet “essential human right”
Meanwhile, Twitter’s declaration drew responses from users who emphasized that Twitter’s own policies also allow banning and suspending users. This includes former President Trump’s Twitter account.
Access to the free & #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society… unless you’re Donald Trump. Or reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Or discussing the biology of gender. Or the murderous dictator of Iran. Or a Chinese Communist Party peon lying about COVID. 🤷🏼♀️
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) June 5, 2021
Conservative author Liz Wheeler responded to the tweet posted mocking Twitter’s decision. She said access to the internet is an essential human right unless you are Donald Trump or reporting Hunter Biden’s laptop content.
GOP lawmakers also accused the social media giant of “shadow-banning” Republicans. They then accused Twitter of using an algorithm that contains the visibility of the tweets that conservatives make.
It can be remembered that days before the presidential election back in 2020, Twitter restricted the New York Post account over the story it published about Hunter Biden. The social media giant then backtracked after the FBI and government authorities confirmed the story.
Yet last month, Twitter tolerated the accounts of pro-Iran groups. They posted anti-Semitic hashtags as violence between Israel and Hamas erupted.
Twitter deleted Nigerian President’s Tweet
Then, recently, Twitter deleted President Buhari’s tweet. The tweet contained a message in response to arson attacks on government offices and police stations by separatists militants.
In the tweet, Buhari threatened the suspected militants in Nigeria.
The Nigerian President wrote in the now-deleted tweet, saying that many of those who are “misbehaving” in the country are too young to be aware of the destruction and deaths during the Civil War in Nigeria.
He then added that he and others were in the fields for 30 months, and they went through a war. Buhari then threatened the militants and said they would approach them using the “language they understand.”
Between 1976 and 1970, the Nigerian President was a military officer who fought against Igbo separatists. Back then, the Igbo separatists wanted to build an independent Biafra nation. During that bloody civil war, over one million people died.