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Nigeria Starts to Backpaddle on Twitter Ban

The Nigerian President has called for a meeting with Twitter to discuss its recent ban on social media company, having realised that his decision to suspend Twitter indefinitely could backfire  and cost the country economically in terms of new investments into its technology sector. The Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4. The official press release gave only a vague justification, citing threats to “Nigeria’s corporate existence”. While only a minority of Nigerians use Twitter, they form part of the most vocal and politically active segment of the population. Many young people have used Twitter and other social media recently to organise anti-government protests. And Nigeria has been among the best-performing African countries in attracting investments for technology start-up business. The ban could threaten that status. Shortly after the ban went into effect, traffic to the site was blocked on leading local mobile networks like MTN, Globacom, Airtel and 9mobile, though access was still possible through some internet service providers. Nigerians also have plenty of other digital options to share opinions and information, from the popular WhatsApp to the Indian microblogging service Koo, which quickly announced plans to expand into the country.


Alastair Tempest

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