Nigerians can now access Twitter again without having to use a VPN or fear repercussions. The Nigerian government lifted the ban on Twitter on January 13, 2022, more than seven months after ordering telecommunications providers in the country to block the social network. According to CNN, Reuters and The Financial Times, Nigeria decided to lift the ban after Twitter agreed to open a local office.
Twitter also had to agree to fulfill other conditions set by the government, including “handling posts banned under Nigerian law.” The social network must also pay national taxes and appoint a representative in the country who will be responsible for engaging with local authorities.
If you recall, Nigeria initially suspended Twitter in June 2021 after the website deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari who used the platform to threaten citizens following attacks on government buildings. At the time, Twitter explained that the post violated its abuse policy. Nigerian authorities retaliated by accusing Twitter of allowing the use of its platform “for activities that could undermine the existence of the Nigerian company.” They also warned citizens that they would prosecute those who attempt to circumvent the suspension using VPNs and similar tools. Bloomberg reported in October that Nigeria was already on the verge of lifting the ban, as long as Twitter is used in the country for “commercial and positive engagements,” but it clearly took a few more months for the deal to be finalized.
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency, said Twitter “has agreed to act with respectful recognition of Nigerian laws and national culture and history on which such legislation has been constructed “. The social network has also apparently agreed to work with the country’s government “to develop a code of conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.”
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