Donald Trump congratulates Nigeria for banning Twitter

There are unconfirmed reports of people being stopped and their phones searched for Twitter.
There are unconfirmed reports of people being stopped and their phones searched for Twitter Photo credit: Getty Images

Former US President Donald Trump's attempt to create his own social media platform may have been short-lived, but his ire at the companies that have banned him has continued.

He shut down 'From the Desk of Donald J. Trump' after less than a month with an anonymous source telling the Washington Post Trump didn't like the blog as it was being mocked and had few readers.

But today he issued a statement supporting the Nigerian government's decision to suspend microblogging platform Twitter from operating in the country.

"Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President," Trump said in an emailed statement.

"More countries should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech - all voices should be heard. In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold."

Trump was permanently banned by Twitter following the January 6 riot at the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, while Facebook and Instagram confimed a two-year ban on the former Apprentice star earlier this week following those events in Washington DC.

"Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil?" Trump continued.

"Perhaps I should have done it while I was President. But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?"

Nigeria suspended Twitter indefinitely last week after it deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari for breaching the site's abusive behaviour policy after he appeared to threaten secessionists in the south east of the country.

The National Broadcasting Commission in the country later ordered all television and radio stations in the country to delete their Twitter accounts.

The company has said it's deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria.

"Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society," it wrote in a tweet.

"We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world."

Meanwhile, the BBC has reported that many Nigerians are still tweeting, using VPNs to bypass the ban.

"Guess what? The only people who have been muted right now appear to be the government themselves," Gbenga Sesan of the Paradigm Initiative told the corporation.

"Yes, some businesses are not tweeting because clearly they do not want to be punished, but the citizens they were trying to proscribe are still tweeting."

According to the BBC, there are unconfirmed reports of people being stopped in some parts of Nigeria and having their phones searched for the app.