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Monday, February 26, 2024

The ‘blue bird’ fleeing beyond boundaries

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Now that the US-based microblogging site is facing backlashes in various nations, it has now come out stating access to the platform to be ‘human right’ in a tweet on Saturday. The tweet read “We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #Openinternet is an essential human right in modern society.” Further, it asserted “We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world.”

The company put out the statement inciting conservatives to accuse the firm of hypocrisy as it banned former President Donald Trump and the Nigerian President for so-called violating Twitter policy. The statement was made public after the suspension of the social media giant for an indefinite term in Nigeria.

The news came in on Friday that the West African country Nigeria bans the US-based microblogging site ‘Twitter’ ‘indefinitely’ for deleting its President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.

The microblogging website a few days ago froze the account of the Nigerian President on a tweet of him on civil war. The leader had tweeted regarding the 1967-70 civil war in the Biafra region who killed millions of people, saying “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 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

For the tweet above, twitter went on deleting it proclaiming the content to be ‘abusive’ and then blocking the President’s official account for 12 hours. A much stronger reaction followed the action of deleting the government in power in Nigeria suspending the website for an indefinite period. The Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture made the announcement of the same, Alhaji Lai Mohammad saying the website has been ‘persistently used’ for the activities alleged to be capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence. The ministry on its official handle also announced its direction to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to commence the procedure of licensing all the OTT platforms and social media operations in Nigeria.

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The Minister went on saying the US-based platform has been running an agenda and its mission in Nigeria to be ‘suspicious’.

As per the reports of ANI on May 2, the minister stated “we have a country to rule, and we will do so to the best of our ability. Twitter’s mission in Nigeria is very suspect, they have an agenda. The mission of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious.”

Notably, the same thing happened months ago with former US President Donald Trump as his official Twitter handle was shut off by the microblogging website reasoning to be spreading hatred during the unfortunate Capitol Hill riots.

The social media giant also faces backlashes in India as it denies complying with the Indian IT laws despite being given the timeline until May 26, 2021. The platform was recently in news for allegedly removing the ‘blue tick’ from various well-known personalities and made them lose their ‘verified’ status on the platform. One of them being the Vice-President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, and the others from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) including Chief Mohan Bhagwat, and other leaders Suresh Soni, Arun Kumar, Suresh Joshi, and Krishna Kumar.

Almost every nation’s legislation involves the clause of ‘data privacy’ in it giving the citizenry the security of accessing the social media platforms to reach and connect with the world and access their right of ‘Right to Speech’. The social media platforms misusing the clause are now stepping beyond the boundaries they are provided to play in. Blocking, Banning, Suspending the handles has now become a ball play for the sites especially the microblogging sites like Twitter. Non- compliance with the laws of the land and embroidering some content to be ‘abusive’ on its own cannot be tolerated further. Private companies like such highly need to be reminded that the Nation always poses higher and teasing the citizenry cannot be endured.

[author title=”Shreya Gohel” image=”http://localhost/gc2/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210127_014031.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle

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