Nigeria Bans Twitter Just Days After the Company Deleted One of Its President’s Tweets

The company said in a statement it was looking into the “deeply concerning” suspension.

Bayo Omoboriowo, Nigeria State House/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

In a move that would make Donald Trump’s mouth water, Nigeria banned Twitter within its borders—just days after the social media company deleted a tweet written by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerian information minister Lai Mohammed said that the move was the result of “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence” but did not explain specifics of the suspension, including how long it would last.

Millions of Nigerians use the platform, and some used virtual private networks to bypass the ban and post about their frustrations on Twitter.

In the deleted tweet from Tuesday, Buhari compared Nigeria’s civil war decades ago to attacks on offices of the country’s national electoral commission. According to the People’s Gazette, a Nigerian news outlet, many people saw the tweet as a threat of genocide against the country’s Igbo people. Twitter said that the tweet violated its “abusive behavior” policy.

The company said in a statement to Reuters that it is looking into the “deeply concerning” suspension in Nigeria.

Nigerian officials had previously criticized Twitter. In April, Mohammed expressed frustration when the company chose Ghana for its first African office, and called for “regulation” to deal with “fake news” after people in the country documented and protested police brutality on the platform.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate