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Editorial News of Monday, 7 June 2021


Is it true that Twitter is unaware of Buhari's role as Nigeria's president?

Twitter, President Muhammadu Buhari Twitter, President Muhammadu Buhari

A screenshot of a message apparently from Twitter's official handle went viral on social media recently, claiming the social media platform's "ignorance" of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's stance.

Following a spat between the federal government and Twitter's administration, the post was widely spread. It will be recalled that the Nigerian government banned Twitter's operations in the country through its minister of communication, Lai Mohammed, after the social media giant removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari's handle.

The platform's regulations had been broken by the President's post.

“Dear @MBuhari, We have no idea who you are or what country you are running, we have came across a message that violates our rule no 4 of “safety and freedom” and removed it,” Twitter apparently wrote in the viral screenshot.

POLITICS NIGERIA conducted a short fact check on Twitter's official handle (@Twitter) to verify this claim. We noticed that the most recent tweet on the timeline was made on May 28th and has nothing to do with the Nigerian situation.

Our reporter also ran a quick google reversal of the viral tweet and discovered that it had been photoshopped. Mr Buhari's post evoking the country's civil war and threatening to handle people attacking government facilities "with the language they understand" sparked outrage online, according to this publication.

Twitter users interpreted the message as a veiled threat against the Igbo ethnic group, which sustained deaths during the conflict, and demanded that Mr Buhari's account be suspended. After two days, Twitter relented and removed the president's contentious message.

The federal government reacted surprise, claiming that the platform decided to disregard inciting remarks from the banned IPOB while swiftly enforcing its rules against the president.

The suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria was announced by Nigeria's communication minister, Lai Muhammed, on Friday.

Twitter says it was looking into the suspension as of Friday evening. On Saturday, the platform's Public Policy account published its first formal comment, expressing worry about the shutdown and vowing to restore access to Nigerian users.

“The ban of Twitter in Nigeria is highly concerning to us. In today's society, having access to a free and open Internet is a basic human right.

“We will endeavor to re-establish access for all Nigerians who use Twitter to communicate and connect with the rest of the world. #Don'tStop.”

Apart from the above remark, Twitter has never stated that it does not recognize Mr. Buhari as the president of Africa's most populous country, hence the trending screenshot is FALSE!