The Nigerian government’s decision to suspend popular social media platform ban will hit Nigeria’s teeming youth population, for whom Twitter has become a source of escape from the hard-hitting Nigerian situation. Many use the platform to find job opportunities, companionship and networking. It will also prove to be disastrous for small and medium scale businesses that rely on Twitter as an e-commerce and marketing platform.
What can we do about it?
While your network provider might have locked you out of Twitter, you can bypass restrictions by using a you-know-what.
While bypassing the block is a great idea, using VPNs are not ideal in the long run. Asides from the fact that they place a heavy toll on your battery life. As much as we might seem like the most resilient people, finding another loophole to bypass inconveniences set by the government is not sustainable. For one, the majority of 17 million Nigerian Twitter users are still unable to access the site, despite widespread VPN use. What’s more, the government might also instruct security forces to crack down on people who manage to use Twitter and VPNs in the country.
So what can we do to help?
Apply pressure on your representatives.
It is important to also mount pressure on your elected officials: senators, members of the house of representatives. Send emails and call in to express your displeasure at the government’s violation of your freedom of speech. You can find your senate representative’s contact details here.
Educate people around you who don’t know what’s happening. Explain to them why the government’s suspension of Twitter’s services is illegal and violates their right to free speech.
Get it trending on other social media
Use social posts on all available platforms to protest the government’s attempt to undermine freedom of speech in Nigeria. Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and YouTube are still running. Use these platforms to make your voice heard against the government’s attempts at regulating social media. Use the hashtag #KeepItOn to continue fighting against censorship of the internet.
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