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

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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.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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