There has been a ban on the use of Twitter in Nigeria. This ban was announced after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet was taken down and his account temporarily frozen.
The tweet violated the company’s “abusive” behavior policy. The tweet threatened punishment on the secessionist of the nation that were blamed for attacks on Federal property.
The Nigerian authorities accused the platform for supporting “activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. No further details were given.
Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service. Asides serving as a social media platform. For many, it’s a means of networking, business, crowdfunding, to others, a coping mechanism. It is a space where users feel heard and can air out their opinions. Nigerian activists have used this medium previously to foster movements such as the #ENDSARS movement. This helped to gain international coverage which led to the end of the Nigerian police unit.
Twitter has shown concern about the ban in a released statement. They noted “Access to the free and #Openinternet is an essential human right in modern society. We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world”. We hope for a positive outcome and that the ban is lifted. Meanwhile, some Twitter users have bypassed the blockade with Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
VPN means Virtual Private Network. It encrypts your internet traffic and protects your identity, making it difficult for you to be traced by third parties. We have a list of VPNs to enable access to Twitter. Some of them are:
While some are paid for, some are free. However, these VPNs are for Twitter. They should be turned off when Twitter is not in use. This is important to avoid the leaking of sensitive information such as banking details. Avoid using online banking platforms with VPN turned on. Also, VPNs have the tendency to decrease internet speed. While it gives access to Twitter, it presents dangers of its own.
The #keepiton campaign and coalition supported by Access now launched to fight internet shutdowns. They have called upon the Nigerian government to withdraw the Twitter blocking order and reinstate access to the social media platform. Twitter users in Nigeria and abroad are currently pushing the campaign.