Two days following Twitter’s suppression of a digital statement by the President of Nigeria, the seat of power has announced the outright suspension of the social network throughout the federation for an “indefinite” period.
“The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” read a statement released yesterday, Friday, June 4, by the Ministry of Information and Culture.
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Shockingly, the press release was published on the same social network.
TWITTER STILL ACCESSIBLE
Despite this seeming restriction, Twitter was still accessible in the country as at noon on Saturday, with the hashtag #TwitterBan trending worldwide in a global defiance against the move.
Asked about this by AFP, the special advisor to the ministry Segun Adeyemi said he was unable to comment on the technical aspects of this suspension but confirmed that “Activities will be suspended indefinitely.”
The suspension comes two days after Twitter deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari, which threatened perpetrators of violence currently taking place in the south-east of the country. The social network believed that this message went against its rules of use.
The alleged inciting tweet read,
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, retorted during a message to the press that, if Twitter had its own rules governing its ecosystem, the president had the right to comment on the situation in his country.
He also criticized the social network for tolerating messages from a leader of the separatist, IPOB of southeast Nigeria, which he said encourages violence, before mentioning that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey launched last year a call to donate bitcoins to support protests against police violence in the country.
“Twitter’s mission to Nigeria after these two examples is very suspect. What are his intentions?” he asked in the presence of journalists.
OUTRAGE ON … TWITTER
For its part, Twitter considered that this suspension was “very worrying”. “We are investigating and will keep you informed when we know more,” the company continued. Nigerian netizens have also reacted to the measure, speaking mainly on the supposedly banned Twitter.
“This repressive action is a clear attempt to censor dissent and stifle the civic space,” said Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“This is the height of muzzling the freedom of expression that can only happen in dictatorships,” Nigerian analyst Bulama Bukarti wrote.
“It will go down in history one Buhari’s biggest mistakes and PR disasters,” he added.
The NGO Amnesty International called on the authorities “to immediately cancel the illegal suspension and other projects aimed at gagging the media, suppressing civic space and undermining the human rights of Nigerians.”
“This action is clearly inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s international obligations, particularly under the African Charter on Human Rights,” denounced the organization.
The End of the Twitter in Nigeria?
It is a very common occurrence for state authorities to impose bans on social networking sites or media that might pose a threat to its rule of law, at least from their perspective.
Notable countries like India have banned apps like TikTok, so also have Pakistan. Nigeria itself were not granted legal access to streaming service, Spotify until February 2021. Yet in both scenarios, each of these services boasted significant subscribers from all of India, Pakistan and Nigeria. How? Through the use of VPNs.
What Are VPNs?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. Most importantly, VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy than even a secured Wi-Fi hotspot.
Naturally, when you surf the Web, you expose your private information and browsing habit to whoever might have the tools to view these details. This is where VPN comes in, as it grants you anonymity by giving you a throwaway IP address, the tool on which your browsing history and location is embedded.
Purpose of VPN
- • Preserve personal information
- • Protect yourself from cyber attacks
- • Maintain anonymity online
- • Hide your country of origin
- • Avoid censorship in certain restrictive countries (China, Iran, Russia, etc.)
- • Access foreign sites and services that are usually inaccessible
In the case of the ban of Twitter in the country, a VPN will provide you with a non-Nigerian IP address, leaving you not only untraceable but granting you full access to the prohibited service.
Best VPN Apps to Access Twitter
1. CyberGhost VPN: the best VPN 2021
Cyberghost is a leader among VPNs and stands out for its performance and comprehensive features. We quickly understand that tens of millions of Internet users trust this Bucharest service, which invests heavily in the security of its infrastructure.
Founded in 2011 in Romania, CyberGhost is one of the most reliable solutions on the market. Despite its success, the supplier continues to improve its service year after year.
In addition to a new interface that is even more efficient than in the past and compatibility with most platforms, it has the largest infrastructure on the market with more than 7,000 servers in 90 countries and 111 locations
2. NordVPN: the best value for money
Present in the market since 2012, NordVPN has really gained momentum in recent years. Based on one of the largest infrastructures on the market, it offers a wide range of features and increased security.
Except you have been living in a cave or under a rock, it is impossible to escape the many advertisements and promotions that NordVPN has been engaged in for two years on the web.
3. ExpressVPN: better performance
A must-have reference for VPN editors ExpressVPN has one of the most comprehensive range of features and services on the market. With no less than 3000 VPN servers in 160 locations in 94 countries, it shines with its connection speed and ease of use.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is an independent company not subject to the Patriot Act. It offers serious guarantees on the confidentiality and data protection of its users and does not record any logs.
4. SurfShark VPN: attractive prices
Founded a little over a year ago, Surfshark is a particularly promising new VPN provider. It emphasizes increased security, an unlimited number of devices and some of the most competitive prices on the market.
Still young, Surfshark currently offers much more limited coverage than those of the industry leaders like NordVPN, ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. Yet this is only relative to the big guns as the provider still offers 3,200 servers in 65 countries around the world. Based in the British Virgin Islands (like ExpressVPN), it is not subject to the US Partiot Act and does not keep any data about its users.
5. VyprVPN: a market pioneer
VyprVPN is one of the most reputable historical VPNs on the market. Equipped with strong security features, it has the advantage of owning and managing its own computer servers in more than 70 locations around the world.
Created by Golden Frog, a Swiss company specializing in IT security, VyprVPN has many strengths. Very respectful of the privacy of Internet users, the company does not keep any information on its customers and it guarantees 100% anonymous exchanges.
Windscribe VPN is a great service for those looking to save on the costs of their VPN while not sacrificing features or security.
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IPVanish is one of the top VPN for iPhone and iOS devices. They have 200,000+ IP addresses in over 60 countries so you can rest easy knowing that your traffic will be encrypted when using their services.
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