The authorities in Nigeria banned Twitter after it accused the platform of threatening the country’s “corporate existence” by allowing “misinformation and fake news to spread.” The Twitter ban follows President Muhammad Buhari’s controversial tweet about the civil war, which some Nigerian users flagged and Twitter said violated its rules.
However, Twitter has numerous other uses that contribute to the country’s health. Respected health advocates such as Nigeria Health Watch use Twitter to share informed commentary on the urgency of infectious disease outbreaks, writes Oyeronke Oyebanji.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which usually updates the country’s daily statistics of the coronavirus pandemic on its official Twitter handle is failing to do so. The ban has caused a delay in accessing the infections’ daily tally from the disease center. The suspension has drawn worldwide condemnation, but the government has doubled down on its resolve, saying it will lift the ban only when it is sure that “responsible communication” can be forged on the platform.