Former President Donald Trump praised Nigeria for banning Twitter after it deleted a post by its president, The Week reports.
Nigeria indefinitely suspended the social media network after it removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari threatening separatists in the country by invoking the violence of the deadly 1960s Nigerian Civil War.
"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," Buhari tweeted.
Twitter flagged the post as “abusive behavior” and temporarily froze his account.
The country suspended the social network after its information minister argued that "the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence."
Trump praises ban:
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. “More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech—all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil?”
Trump even suggested that he might have done the same if not for flattery from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Perhaps I should have done it while I was President,” he said. “But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?”
Nigerians defy ban:
Meanwhile back in Nigeria, people are defying the ban and using VPNs to bypass government censors.
"Guess what? The only people who have been muted right now appear to be the government themselves. Yes, some businesses are not tweeting because clearly they do not want to be punished, but the citizens they were trying to proscribe are still tweeting," Gbenda Sesan of the Paradigm Initiative told the BBC.
It’s unclear how the government plans to enforce the ban but some prominent leaders have continued to use the social network, as have some news outlets.
NetBlocks, an internet monitor, estimated that Nigeria is losing $250,000 per hour because of the ban, noting that it has been used to help find jobs, raise money, and even call ambulances and help locate missing persons.