The Federal Government has said that Twitter has agreed to 7 out of the 10 demands that it put forward to lift the suspension it placed on the microblogging and social networking platform.
This is coming about a week after the government said it might be lifting the ban on Twitter in a matter of days.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during his on-going engagement with various global media outlets, global think tanks and influencers in Washington DC.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the engagement is to enable the minister put across the correct narratives about what is happening in Nigeria, showcase government achievements and present challenges facing the country.
What the Minister of Information and Culture is saying
Mohammed, during his respective interaction with Reuters, Washington Post and Bloomberg Quicktake, a live streaming news service, said there is an end in sight with the amicable settlement of the ban.
The Minister said, “We believe that even the other three outstanding demands, are not really about whether they agreed or not but about timing and scheduling. That is what gave me the confidence that we are getting nearer to an agreement.’’
He said that some of the demands made on Twitter include that the platform should register as a Nigerian company, pay taxes from revenue made from the country and ensure that harmful contents are regulated.
He said, “As recently as last week, we exchange correspondence with Twitter, and when I left home a few days ago, we were expecting a reply from them. It is rather, more left with Twitter to respond to grey areas that we asked them to look into.
“We are not inflexible in our negotiation with Twitter because we recognise both the positive and negative aspects of the social media.’’
Mohammed said the Twitter ban had been very effective in the country because they see less of harmful and injurious content on social media adding that other social media platforms had been more conscious and alert to injurious content likely to threaten national security.
The minister pointed out that from the discussions they had with Twitter, it will not be business as usual when the platform resumed operations.
Mohammed insisted that the operations of Twitter were suspended because they were threatening national security, pitching one ethnic group against the other, interfering recklessly in the internal affairs of the country and not because it deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet.
What you should know
It can be recalled that earlier in June, the Federal Government suspended the operations of Twitter indefinitely in the country citing double standards by the microblogging and social media platform, and the persistent use of the platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The suspension was announced despite public outcry, days after Twitter deleted a post by President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly violating its policy.
The government accused Twitter of allowing its platform to be used as a platform of choice for those who are preaching separatism and lend their resources to protesters against the police without understanding the nuances of our culture.
They were also accused of raising funds to support EndSARS protesters which led to the killing of 57 innocent civilians, 37 police officers, 6 soldiers in addition to billions of dollars of destruction in property,’’ he said.
The Federal Government later set up a dialogue team led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to interface with Twitter on the way forward.