In a controversial move, the Nigerian government on Friday ad he suspended Twitter operations in the country indefinitely.
The federal government based its decision on “the continued use of the platform for activities that could undermine the existence of the Nigerian company.”
The move came two days after Twitter deleted a controversial post from the president Muhammadu Buhari referring to the country’s civil war and threatening those who attack government buildings “with the language they understand”.
“Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who have been through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari warned in the deleted tweet.
Nigerian Minister of Information Lai Mohammed was disdainful Twitter’s action, saying Mr. Buhari had the right to express his dismay at the violence of a banned organization.
“Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule,” he said. “If Mr. President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”
Authorities did not say how and when the ban would begin, but the announcement has already sparked a torrent of outrage, with many saying it is a government decision to clamp down on free speech.
Twitter said in a statement on Friday that it was investigating the “deeply concerning” suspension of operations and that it “would provide updates when we know more.”
There are at least eight other countries where repressive governments have imposed a ban on Twitter.
In 2019, the governments of China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Turkmenistan, among others, had temporarily or permanently blocked access to Twitter in their domains.
Turkey blocked access to Twitter in March 2014 in the run-up to local elections. The move was reportedly taken to stem a flood of leaked wiretaps from senior officials who had appeared on the site, prompting then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to say he would “uproot” the network.
Turkey lifted the ban on Twitter after the social networking site granted its request to remove photos of a murdered Istanbul prosecutor.
The decision sparked a public outcry and drew strong international criticism.
Twitter said the Turkish government has accounted for more than 52% of all content removal requests globally since 2017.
In 2009, China temporarily blocked Twitter. The move was imposed after a “small group of China’s Muslim ethnic minority used the site to exchange information, which led to deadly riots in Xinjiang.”
After the ban, many Chinese chose to use Twitter via VPN. Twitter has been officially blocked alongside Facebook, Google+, and Foursquare.
Egyptians did not have access to Twitter on January 25, 2011 during the 2011 Egyptian protests. On January 27, various reports claimed that access to the entire Internet from Egypt had been closed. However, on February 2, 2011, connectivity was reestablished by the four major Egyptian service providers.
In 2016, Egypt shut down websites such as Twitter and Facebook as the government tried to prevent social media from being used to stir up unrest.
READ ALSO : Twitter removes controversial Buhari tweet
Twitter, YouTube, Hotmail, Google, Chinese search engine Baidu and a “proxy service” – which would allow users to bypass restrictions – appeared to be blocked from inside the country, according to the British guardian.
Twitter was blocked in Iran in 2009 after a controversial presidential election. During the period, only Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was not prevented from having a Twitter account.
About two million Iranians access Twitter using VPNs, and Twitter was instrumental in mobilizing support for Iran’s 2010 Green Revolution.
North Korea officially announced that it was blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and South Korean websites in an attempt to further control access to outside information in 2013.
The government has announced that it is blocking the aforementioned platforms “for a while”. He also said that gambling and “adult and sex websites” were blocked. In 2010, the government surprised the world by creating its own Twitter account. South Korea, in response, blocked the account from its own borders.
Accessing Twitter without government permission is a punishable offense. This applies to citizens as well as to foreigners.
In 2013, the Saudi government blocked Twitter when it conducted an “experiment”. The app was an important tool for criticizing the government. It also censors individual social media pages, blocks accounts of political activists, and restricts free speech by using tweets as grounds for accusations like libel and profanity.
Foreign news and opposition websites have been blocked in Turkmenistan since 2018. Social networks like Twitter are generally described as “often inaccessible”.
United Arab Emirates
In 2007, the UAE blocked Twitter, meaning anyone in the UAE who visited the site was greeted with the following message:
“We apologize, the site you are trying to visit has been blocked due to its content incompatible with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates. But Twitter has since been available in the country.
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