Why I Support Nigeria Banning Twitter

Nigeria’s Twitter Ban Cuts Off 40 Million Users

It’s no longer news that the clueless overlords in Nigeria banned Twitter last week for having the temerity and effrontery to ‘delete’ a tweet from their ‘leader’ Pres. Muhammed Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (POFRON). The gist is that Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4. The official press release gave only a vague justification, citing threats to “Nigeria’s corporate existence.” What is news, however, is President Trump’s allege reaction to the unfortunate accident of history.

President Trump’s reaction to Nigeria banning Twitter

Opportunity Cost of the Twitter Ban

Marco Gordon, a contributor on Tech Crunch wrote:

  • 35% of Nigerians reported using some social media service to get news at least a few times a week.
  • Men were marginally more likely to use it than women — 39% versus 31%.
  • More young people used it — 46% of 18–25 years old, versus 8% for those over 65.
  • Rates of weekly access were higher for Nigerians who lived in urban areas (54%, versus 18% for rural), had at least a secondary-level education (57%, versus 12% with a primary education or lower) and had the lowest levels of lived poverty (51%, versus 25% for those with the highest levels).

So, let’s get back to the crux of the matter, why would anyone be happy or support Twitter being banned in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country?

Here are a few reasons I think the ban might actually turn out to be a good thing:

1. Explosive growth of VPNs in Nigeria

As expected, there is a widespread use of VPNs in Nigeria at the moment. That would come at significant costs. Poor Nigerians are likely turn to free VPNs instead of fee-based ones that are more secure. This will expose them to data theft and other forms of hacking. Nothing is free; even in Freetown. Be careful guys!

2. Opportunity for rival micro blogging sites to access Africa’s largest market

In every crisis, there exist an opportunity. A report says Indian micro-blogging social media company Koo is planning to expand its footprint in Nigeria. The company co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna hinted about the move from his Twitter handle.

A Prediction. . .

Twitter ban will be overturned eventually however, the question remains: who will be the winners and/or losers? And who would blink first: Nigerian government or the 40m active Nigerians on Twitter whose fundamental human rights have been affected by the ban?

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Wale Salami

Wale Salami

Co-founder/Executive Director at Midlothian Angel Network. Email me at wale@midloangels.org