Twitter Officially Writes FG Over Ban
Twitter, the microblogging platform, has written to the Nigerian government to inquire about the possibility of resuming operations in the country.
On Tuesday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, announced that he had received a message from Twitter requesting for a meeting to discuss the federal government’s ban.
When Mohammed appeared on Radio Nigeria’s call-in show “Politics Nationwide,” he confirmed this.
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“I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government to express their willingness to speak with them.
“As we’ve always said, the door isn’t locked, and we’re open-minded, but Twitter has to work on it,” says the company.
The minister reaffirmed the government’s position that any forum used to destabilise the country would be rejected.
Mohammed stated that among the prerequisites for Twitter to restart operations in Nigeria is an agreement on the type of content that can be posted.
He added that Twitter and other platforms must register as a Nigerian firm, receive a licence from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), follow the licencing laws, and pay taxes.
Regulation of social media platforms, according to the minister, is becoming a global standard.
He claimed that most countries were only now realising that platforms were growing more powerful than governments and that they needed to be regulated.
“Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, and Turkey all restrict social media, as does Australia.
“Even the EU, which has no specific rules on social media, has issued guidelines in a white paper,” he explained.
According to the minister, the UK has enacted a new rule that allows social media corporations to be fined up to 18 million pounds (approximately N10.8 billion) if they fail to combat online abuses.
He said Google was fined 220 million Euros (about N110 billion) on June 7 by French Competition Regulator for abusing its dominance in the online advertising market in France.
Similarly, the minister said the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan had approved a new set of rules to regulate social media.
In the rules, according to the minister, companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even TikTok were to register and open offices in Pakistan.
He said in compliance with the new online broadcasting rule of Turkey, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video had obtained licences from that country’s broadcasting authority.
Mohammed noted that regulation of social media was not synonymous with stifling press freedom.
“We must not confuse press freedom with irresponsibility.
“How can you stay in your country and allow your own platform to be used to propagate war in another country?
“The suspension of Twitter is to ensure that no particular platform is used to cause war in Nigeria.
“Secondly, to ensure that whoever is making money in Nigeria must be made to pay tax.
“Our appeal to Nigerians is that they should understand where we are coming from.
“We have no intention to stifle people’s freedom or to cut off the source of livelihood of anybody.
“There must be a country devoid of war before we can talk of freedom and a source of living,’’ he said.
Ejes Gist Nigeria reports that the Federal Government on June 4 suspended indefinitely the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.
Mohammed, who announced the suspension, cited the persistent use of the platform for activities capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
He said the Federal Government had also directed the NBC to immediately commence the process of licensing all Over the Top (OTT) and social media operations in the country.
Ejes Gist Nigeria reports that OTT media service is offered directly to viewers through the internet.
# Twitter Officially Writes FG Over Ban
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