Amid the censorship and controversies that Twitter faces, the social media giant decares access to its access as a "human right."
Twitter Deletes Tweets from Nigerian President
In a recently published article in Fox News, Twitter removed an angry post from President Muhammadu Buhari, which many saw as a veiled threat against violent separatists in the country's southeast, and his government's communication arm retaliated by banning the social media website from the country.
The Nigerian President wrote in the already deleted Twitter post "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," according to a published report in Pehal News.
During the country's violent civil war, Nigeria's president served as a military commander in the battle against Igbo separatists who sought to form an independent Biafra nation. Between 1967 and 1970, more than one million individuals were killed in the fighting.
Twitter and Nigerian Government Released a Statement
Saturday morning, Twitter declared a free and open Internet to be "an essential human right in modern society," after the Nigerian government blocked access to the social media giant following a disagreement with its president - even as critics claim it suppresses conservative content and bans its own users.
Meanwhile, the country's Federal Ministry of Information and Culture tweeted Friday night "The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria, according to a published article in Siouxcounty Radio.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, also announced that the government would begin licensing social media platforms and "OTT," or over-the-top, operations, which offer content directly to viewers via the internet.
Twitter Users Give Their Reactions
The remark garnered quick reactions from Twitter users, who pointed out that the social media giant's own protocols allow for the suspension and banning of users, including former President Donald Trump.
Conservative author Liz Wheeler wrote in response to Twitter's tweet "Access to the free & #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society... unless you're Donald Trump. Or reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop. Or discussing the biology of gender. Or the murderous dictator of Iran. Or a Chinese Communist Party peon lying about COVID," according to Fox News.
Another user shared a meme of a comic book hero debating which button to press - "Access to Twitter is a human right," or "Ban these accounts for speaking stuff I don't agree with." Several additional users expressed similar opinions.
Republican senators have also accused the social media giant of "shadow-banning" conservatives, or of using an algorithm that reduces the visibility of their posts. Twitter similarly suspended the New York Post's account for a report on Hunter Biden just days before the 2020 presidential election but reversed its decision once the report was confirmed.
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