By Franca Edmond (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Presidency has responded to reactions trailing its suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, explaining that the government’s action was informed by the social media site’s unethical practices in the country and its negative consequences on security, and not in response to the removal of President Buhari’s tweets.
According to a statement released by the Presidency on Saturday and signed by spokesman Garba Shehu, the microblogging site had long been allegedly guilty of spreading misinformation and fake news about Nigeria.
Excerpts of the statement read, “The temporary suspension of Twitter is not just a response to the removal of the President’s post,” the statement said.
“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.
“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 loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart.”
The Federal Government announced an “indefinite suspension” of Twitter operations in Nigeria on Friday, a move that received wide condemnation. By early Saturday, users across the country started to experience difficulties in accessing the service and many resorted to using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).