Former US President Donald Trump has issued a statement supporting the Nigerian government’s decision to suspend the activities of the Twitter platform in the West African country.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because the platform banned the head of state,” he said in the statement. The former president also encouraged other countries to follow in Nigeria’s lead and banned Twitter and Facebook.
“More countries should ban Twitter and Facebook,” he added. And maybe I should have done it when I was president. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner.
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Trump’s stance comes days after Nigeria suspended Twitter indefinitely last Friday.
The government issued the ruling days after Twitter deleted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet for violating abusive behavior policy and calls by many Nigerians to remove it.
His tweet threatened to punish separatists in the southeastern part of the country. Although the Nigerian president later announced that the nationwide Twitter ban was only a temporary measure to curb misinformation and fake news.
But the new guidance indicates otherwise. The government ordered broadcasters to delete their Twitter accounts and stop using the platform as a news source on Monday. This confirms its intention to stifle freedom of expression and impose censorship.
The directives said: We advise broadcasters to delete Twitter accounts and refrain from using the platform as a source for gathering information and presenting news and programmes.
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Trump’s problems with Twitter:
Trump was the recipient of not one but two bans. In early January, he was permanently banned from Twitter after inciting the violent invasion of the US Capitol.
And theindicated Twitter raised concerns about the risk of further incitement to violence.
It was subsequently suspended indefinitely via Facebook. The world’s largest social network announced earlier this month its decision to reconsider Trump’s suspension within two years.
Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communications at Facebook, said: At the end of this period, we look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded.
We are assessing external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other signs of civil unrest.
He continued: If we determine that there is still a serious public safety risk, we extend the restriction for a specified period of time and continue to reassess until that risk recedes.
According to Facebook, when the suspension is lifted, there will be a severe set of rapidly escalating sanctions in place if Trump commits more abuses in the future, including the permanent removal of his pages and accounts.
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