Twitter on Saturday declared access to its platform a “human right,” prompting conservatives to accuse the company of hypocrisy after it banned former President Donald Trump and others for violating its terms of service.
The social media giant’s statement was in response to Nigeria’s decision to ban Twitter for deleting a tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that was seen as a threat to separatist movements.
“We are very concerned about the ban on Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society,” the company said in a statement.
“We will work to restore access for everyone in Nigeria who depends on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #Keep it on.’
Twitter on Saturday declared access to its platform a “human right,” while conservatives tore the platform apart for the statement. Pictured: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
Twitter on Saturday declared access to its platform a “human right,” as conservatives tore the platform for the statement, citing the ban on Donald Trump in January 2021
Twitter’s statement came in response to Nigeria’s decision to ban the social media giant from the country after Twitter deleted a tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari’s tweet reportedly referred to the bloody civil war in the Nigerian region of Biafra in the late 1960s that killed a million people.
President Buhari’s tweet reportedly referred to the bloody civil war in the Nigerian region of Biafra in the late 1960s that killed a million people in what some saw as a veiled threat to modern separatists.
“Those of us who have been in the field for 30 months and lived through the war will ‘treat the Separators’ in the language they understand,” reads the tweet from Buhari – who was a military officer in the Civil War.
Twitter deleted the tweet, saying it violated its “offensive behavior” policy. Company rules prohibit promoting or threatening violence.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture then tweeted on Friday that the social media account would be banned across the country, with violators reportedly being prosecuted.
“The federal government has indefinitely suspended the activities of the microblogging and social networking service Twitter in Nigeria,” the ministry tweeted.
Following Twitter’s response on Saturday, critics of the platform took to the platform to compare Nigeria’s nationwide crackdown with the ban Trump and some conservatives have received for violating the company’s policies in the United States.
Liz Wheeler, a conservative author, tweeted: ‘Access to the free & #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society…unless you’re Donald Trump.
“Or report on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Or discussing the biology of gender. Or the murderous dictator of Iran. Or a Chinese Communist Party pawn lying about COVID.”
Lavern Spicer, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for the US House in 2020, replied that she was “deeply concerned about President Donald Trump’s suspension on Twitter.”
“Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society, even if you don’t agree with their politics,” she wrote.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture tweeted Friday that the social media account would be banned nationwide
Actor James Woods wrote: ‘If irony were food, Twitter could cure hunger overnight…’
New York Post journalist Jon Levine also denounced Twitter, writing: “Twitter commits to ‘free and open internet’ just months after banning … THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”
However, other Twitter users have posted that Twitter banning Trump for violating its terms of service and Nigeria banning the entirety of Twitter from all its citizens are not comparable.
“Nobody has banned Trump from the ENTIRE internet because of Pete. He was suspended for breaking rules he wanted to follow,” tweeted @marajode.
The day after the US Capitol riots on Jan. 6, Trump was permanently banned after Twitter accused him of using his account — which had nearly 90 million followers — for inciting violence.
People took to Twitter because of Twitter’s response to the Twitter ban in Nigeria, drawing comparisons to Donald Trump’s ban for violating Twitter’s terms of service
The United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria also addressed the Twitter ban in a statement, condemning Nigeria for the ban.
“The Constitution of Nigeria provides for freedom of expression. The government’s recent Twitter ban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a bad message to its citizens, investors and businesses,” the mission tweeted.
“Banning social media and limiting every citizen’s ability to seek, receive and transmit information undermines fundamental freedoms.”
The statement continued: “As President Biden has stated, our need for individual expression, open public conversation and accountability has never been greater. The way to a safer Nigeria lies in more, not less, communication, in addition to joint efforts for unity, peace and prosperity.’