Nigeria lifted Twitter’s ban after a social media company opened an office there and agreed to meet other conditions set by authorities in Africa’s most populous country.
A reversal took place seven months after Abuja ordered telecommunications providers to block Twitter after Abuja deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s post, which threatened a violent crackdown on Southeastern separatists. The ban will be lifted from Thursday.
“Twitter has agreed to act in respect of Nigerian law and the culture and history of the country in which such law was established and to work with FGN. [federal government of Nigeria] And a broader industry for developing codes of conduct in line with global best practices that are applicable to almost all developed countries, “said Kasif Inuwa Abdullah, head of the National Information Technology Development Agency. Stated.
Twitter has agreed not only to open a local office, but also to appoint the head of the country and pay local taxes.
In June, the government said it had banned Twitter for “permanent use of the platform for activities that could undermine the existence of Nigerian businesses.”
Buhari, a 79-year-old former military dictator, has been accused by local activists of closing Nigeria’s civil space since it was first democratically elected in 2015.
Twitter’s ban came eight months after protests against police atrocities hit 200 million countries under the #EndSARS hashtag. The demo is now viral on the platform. Twitter CEO when Jack Dorsey tweeted his support using hashtags.
Twitter is used by only a small percentage of Nigerians, but it is popular among activists, journalists, and politicians.
Diplomats from the EU, Britain, Ireland, Norway and Canada criticized the ban in a joint statement. The US Embassy in Nigeria described freedom of expression as “impairing the ability of Nigerians to exercise” and “sending a poor message to citizens, investors and businesses.”
Nigerians, including opposition politicians, used VPNs to circumvent the ban [virtual private network] service. Government members used the platform when traveling abroad.
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