Just In: Twitter Writes FG Over Ban; Seeks Dialogue

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The Federal Government on Tuesday confirmed that Twitter has formally written to seek dialogue on issues leading to the indefinite suspension of its operations in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known when he featured on “Politics Nationwide,’’ a Radio Nigeria call-in programme in Abuja on Tuesday.

Lai Mohammed said, “I can confirm that Twitter has written the Federal Government that they are ready to talk.

“As we have always maintained, the door is not locked and we are open-minded but Twitter must work toward it.”

The minister reiterated the government’s position that it would not tolerate any platform that would be used to destabilize the country, noting that among other conditions for Twitter to resume operation in Nigeria, there must be an agreement as to what contents it could post.

Lai Mohammed further stated that Twitter and other platforms must also register as a Nigerian company, obtain license from the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC) and be guided by the rules of the licensing as well as pay taxes. The minister, who said the regulation of social media platforms is becoming a global practice, said most countries were just waking up to the fact that the platforms were becoming more powerful than the government and needed to be regulated.

“Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey regulate the social media, Australia has done so.

Even EU that does not have particular laws on social media has made recommendations in a white paper,” he added.

Lai Mohammed said the UK initiated a new law which would make social media companies to be fined up to 18 million pounds (about N10.8 billion) if they failed to stamp out online abuses.

He added that Google was fined 220 million Euros (about N110 billion) on June 7 by French Competition Regulator for abusing its dominance in the online advertising market in France.

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