Jan 18, 2022

How Nigeria succeeded in clipping Twitter's wings

Twitter has agreed to a raft of conditions to end a seven-month ban in Nigeria, in what feels like a big win for President Muhammadu Buhari's administration in its efforts to regulate the internet, some analysts say. Some of the conditions accepted by Twitter have raised concerns about its future operations in Nigeria. Twitter has become one of the first digital companies to be brought to heel under a new digital tax law passed in 2020.Twitter has agreed to pay tax in Nigeria, and establish a legal entity in the country, although it is not clear if that means it will open an office or merely register an intermediary. "The difference might be significant with respect to how much pressure Nigeria will be able to exert against Twitter going forward, and Twitter's ability to resist future disproportionate or arbitrary demands from Nigeria," said Mr Greene. In many ways, Twitter's travails in Nigeria felt like a personal battle between Mr Dorsey and Mr Buhari, culminating in the president's tweet being deleted last June.The tweet referenced the 1967-70 Biafran civil war and warned that "Those misbehaving today" would be dealt with in "The language they will understand".

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