Nigeria bans Twitter after president’s tweet deleted

Nigeria banned Twitter on Friday after the platform deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it violated their abusive behavior policy.

The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” the country’s ministry of information posted on Twitter Friday.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said people were using the platform “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Twitter responded to the move on Saturday, saying it was “deeply concerned” by the blocking of its platform.

“Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society,” the company tweeted.

“We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #KeepitOn,” Twitter added.

The ban comes after the Nigerian president posted a now-deleted tweet where he compared the attacks from gunmen on national electoral commission offices to the Nigeria Civil War, according to The New York Times.

“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,” Buhari said, adding that those “who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

Some took the tweet as a call to genocide for the Igbo ethnic group, the majority in the southeast region of the country where most of the attacks have been occurring, The Times reported.

Twitter proceeded to take the tweet down, saying it violated its “abusive behavior” policy.

Although Twitter has been suspended in the country, many Nigerians are still on the platform using virtual private networks to evade the ban hours after it was announced. 

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