Nigeria's Twitter Ban Could Hurt the Economy and Democracy

Human rights groups as well as members of the international community have put pressure on the government to reverse the suspension. The government suspended Twitter after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari's account for violating its rules. The government, in its response, accused the platform of meddling in Nigeria's internal affairs and undermining Nigeria's corporate existence. Amnesty International has condemned the move, calling on Nigeria to "immediately reverse the unlawful suspension". Nigerians have turned to use virtual private networks to access the service. Nigeria's attorney general, Abubakar Malami, promised to prosecute those violating the ban. Meanwhile, Nigeria's decision to suspend Twitter indefinitely could backfire for the government and cost the country economically in terms of new investments into its technology sector. NetBlocks, a digital rights advocacy platform has estimated U.S.$4,9 million (N2 billion naira) has been lost to the ban. The presidency says the ban is temporary.

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