Why we suspended Twitter in Nigeria – Presidency

The Presidency maintains that the temporary suspension of Twitter in Nigeria was not just a response to the removal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s post.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Saturday evening.

According to him, Twitter does not seem to appreciate the national trauma of our country’s civil war.

Twitter had on Wednesday deleted Buhari’s tweet for violating its rules.

Nigerians had demanded for the suspension of Buhari’s Twitter account for saying individuals who want to destroy the present government will receive the shock of their lives.

Twitter said Buhari’s threat violated its rules and pulled down his tweet.

Reacting Shehu denied the allegation that the Federal Government suspended Twitter because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet on Civil War.

Shehu said, “The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post. There has been a litany of problems with the social media platform in Nigeria, where misinformation and fake news spread through it have had real-world violent consequences. All the while, the company has escaped accountability.

“Nevertheless, the removal of President Buhari’s tweet was disappointing. The censoring seemed based on a misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria faces today.

The President in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA in 2019 said, “the world was shocked and startled by the massacre in New Zealand by a lone gunman taking the lives of 50 worshippers.”

This and similar crimes which have been fueled by social media networks risk seeping into the fabric of an emerging digital culture.

Major tech companies must be alive to their responsibilities. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to the loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.

President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media’s disruptive and divisive influences and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.”

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