Twitter

A report by NetBlocks has said the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria by the federal government will cost the country N2.18 billion per day.

NetBlocks, a data-driven online service, estimated the economic cost of internet disruptions on its cost of shutdown tool (COST) platform.

The platform, built on Brookings Institution and CIPESA methodologies, estimates the economic cost of internet shutdowns, mobile data blackouts, and social media restrictions using public economic indicators relating to the global digital economy.

Checks on the COST platform show that a single-day total internet shutdown will cost the country about N48.6 billion in economic value relating to the global digital economy.

According to the data, if Nigeria shuts down WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, it will lose N10.9 billion daily.

Nigerian government had on Friday announced an “indefinite” suspension of Twitter over “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”, a decision that was implemented on Saturday Telecos in the country.

But on Saturday the United States government in a statement condemned the ban in a statement stating, “The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses.

“Banning social media and curbing every citizen’s ability to seek, receive, and impart information undermines fundamental freedoms.

“As President Biden has stated, our need for individual expression, open public conversation, and accountability has never been greater.

“The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less communication, alongside concerted efforts toward unity, peace, and prosperity.”

Also in a joint statement issued on Saturday, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Norway, the European Union, and the US expressed disappointment over the federal government’s announcement.

The foreign missions in Nigeria said the suspension of Twitter will hinder access to information and hamper businesses.

They also noted that the country will be more secure through information sharing, adding that banning systems of expression is not the way to go.

However, the federal government, again, on Saturday defended its decision to “temporarily” ban Twitter, insisting that the decision was long overdue.

According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the suspension wasn’t a “knee-jerk reaction” to the social media network’s deletion of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweets, as Twitter has long been accused of spreading “misinformation and fake news” which can have “real world violent consequences.”

 

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