" ITREALMS: Twitter suspension on Twitter: Nigerians confused, proffer alternatives - ITREALMS

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Twitter suspension on Twitter: Nigerians confused, proffer alternatives - ITREALMS

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The Nigerians Tweeps have expressed surprised over the announcement Friday afternoon that the Federal Government (FG) has pronounced suspension of microblogging social platform, Twitter, indefinitely, reports 

Their confusion, ITREALMS gathered, emanated from the fact that the announcement was initially made on tweet with the handle from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture @FMICNigeria was posted and it read: “Press Release:- FG Suspends @Twitter operations in Nigeria.”
Reacting to the announcement, 
ITREALMS asked some industry players what is the implication of this suspension on the end-users and country at large as well as what options do Nigerians have?

According to some industry observers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) the problem really is not about the suspension but about the enforcement.

Responding, the Chief Web Advocate at the World Wide Web Foundation, Nnenna Nwakanma, retorted if “Twitter has ‘operations’ in Nigeria? Does Nigeria even have the means to suspend Twitter in Nigeria? In the meantime, she said, “Twitter still works in Nigeria.”

President of Internet Society Nigeria Chapter, Mr. Caleb Ogundele said it has no implications yet, because “Business operations suspension does not mean that you off the internet. Users can still circumvent and get on Twitter.”

ISOC, he said, would soon issue a formal reaction on Twitter suspension in Nigeria, stressing that FG may be creating another market for the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The Chairman, African Regional At-Large Organisation, Mr. Seun Ojedeji, told 
ITREALMS Friday that the suspension practically made no digital sense. “It makes no sense to declare suspension of a network platform you not control.”

A Nigerian known as Nefertiti @firstladyship on Twitter was quick to come up with alternative, advising those interested to get a VPN by going to AppStore or Playstore, type in "FREE VPN" in the search box, download any of the top 5 results.

Then, she advised that you “Open the app and install. From the list of available countries, choose a location other than Nigeria. Connect and you will be tunneled to that country. Keep tweeting.”

Immediate President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) Rev. Sunday Folayan wondering what the Federal Government suspended or banned with this kind of pronouncement? 

Though, he condemned the deletion of General Buhari’s inciting tweet, but suggested it should have been flagged instead, alleging that deletion itself is censorship.

“Nigerians are the ones using Twitter, not Twitter using Nigerians. Maybe the government is banning Nigerians from using Twitter or banning Twitter from operating an office in Nigeria, or withdrawing the ability of Nigerians to pay for Twitter services using the meagre forex,” he wondered.

Faloyan pointed out that its immaterial, “Whatever the government intention is in banning Twitter. It is akin to banning oxygen from flowing into people's nostrils and not people from breathing. It is laughable.”

And for former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Twitter shortly after the suspension announcement, wrote, "Hopefully, this isn't my last tweet. #Smile."

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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