Today, former President Donald Trump issued a statement supporting the Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter activities in the West African country.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President,” he said in the statement.
The ex-president also encouraged other countries to follow in Nigeria’s footsteps and ban Twitter and Facebook.
“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? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?” he added.
Trump’s approval is coming days after Nigeria suspended Twitter indefinitely. The government made the judgment days after Twitter deleted Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet for violating its abusive behaviour policy and several calls by Nigerians to take it down. His tweet threatened punishment on secessionists in the southeastern part of the country.
Although the Nigerian President, via his spokesperson, later declared that the state-wide ban on Twitter was only a temporary measure to curb misinformation and fake news, new directives suggest otherwise. The government ordered broadcasting media to delete their Twitter accounts and stop using the platform as a news source on Monday, which further confirms a ploy to stifle free speech and enforce censorship.
“In compliance to the above directive, broadcasting stations are hereby advised to de-install Twitter handles and desist from using Twitter as a source (UGC) of information gathering for news and programmes presentation especially phone-in,” an excerpt of the statement read.
On the other hand, Trump has been on the receiving end of not one but two bans. In early January, he was permanently banned from Twitter after instigating the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol. Twitter cited concerns over the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
He was subsequently suspended indefinitely on Facebook. Last Friday, the social media juggernaut announced its decision to reconsider Trump’s suspension in two years (which starts counting from January).
“At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded,” vice president for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, Nick Clegg said.
"When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A judge in Kenya has ruled that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued in the East African country.
Meta tried to have the case dropped, arguing that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction over their operations, but the labor court judge dismissed that in a ruling on Monday.
A former Facebook moderator in Kenya, Daniel Motaung, is suing the company claiming poor working conditions.
Motaung said that while working as a moderator he was exposed to gruesome content such as rape, torture and beheadings that risked his and colleagues’ mental health.
He said Meta did not offer mental health support to employees, required unreasonably long working hours, and offered minimal pay. Motaung worked in Facebook’s African hub in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, which is operated by Samasource Ltd.
Following the judge’s decision that Meta can be sued in Kenya, the next step in case will be considered by the court on Mar. 8.
Meta is facing a separate court case in which two Ethiopians say hate speech was allowed and even promoted on Facebook amid heated rhetoric over their country’s deadly Tigray conflict.
That lawsuit alleges that Meta hasn’t hired enough content moderators to adequately monitor posts, that it uses an algorithm that prioritizes hateful content, and that it responds more slowly to crises in Africa than elsewhere in the world.
The Associated Press and more than a dozen other media outlets last year reported that Facebook had failed to quickly and effectively moderate hate speech in several places around the world, including in Ethiopia. The reports were based on internal Facebook documents leaked by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen.