Nigerian Government Tells Social Networks to Register as Businesses

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The Nigerian government has said that social networks should register in the African country as commercial enterprises to be able to continue operations after the Twitter controversy, Nigerian newspaper Premium Times reported on Wednesday, citing Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

Last week, Nigeria issued an indefinite suspension notice for Twitter, stating that the platform could be used to jeopardize the country’s unity. This happened two days after the company deleted a tweet by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. According to the minister, Twitter got in contact with the Nigerian authorities to resolve the issue.

One of the government’s conditions is said to be that Twitter — on a par with other social networks, like Facebook and Instagram — be registered in Nigeria as a commercial enterprise.

In the deleted tweet, Buhari referred to the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and threatened to treat “those misbehaving today” in “the language they will understand.” Some of the country’s media interpreted the tweet as a threat to those supporting separation of Biafra, a southeastern region that attempted to secede in the late 1960s, resulting in a brutal armed conflict.

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