Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday that countries around the world should follow Nigeria’s lead and ban social media giants Facebook and Twitter for censoring free speech.
“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because (it) banned their president,” Trump said in a statement posted Tuesday on his website. “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 (Facebook founder Mark) Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?”
The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture banned the social media platform after Twitter removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened secessionist groups in the southeastern part of the African nation that were responsible for attacks on governmental offices, the New York Times reported June 5.
“The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria,” the ministry office said in a post on Twitter. “The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on (June 4), citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence.”
Several local rights groups are taking the government to court to get an injunction on the ban, and many citizens are working around the ban by using a virtual private network to access the server, Aljazeera reported Tuesday.
Both social media companies acted against then President Trump following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by Twitter permanently banning him and Facebook suspending his account indefinitely.
Both companies said that Trump’s speech on the platforms incited the riot, which killed five people including a Capitol Police officer and a civilian.
A watchdog group formed by Facebook to review such decisions recently upheld the ban for a two-year period but criticized the company for not following its own guidelines and standards by initially announcing the indefinite ban.
Facebook said it will assess Trump’s “risk to public safety” before allowing him back on the platform, Forbes reported June 4.
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75 million people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 rigged presidential election,” Trump said in a June 4 statement. “They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country cannot take this abuse anymore!”
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