Okonjo-Iweala Weighs In On Why Twitter Banned Trump


By Abiola Olawale

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian minister of finance and a member of Twitter board, has weighed in on why outgoing U.S President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter.

Okonjo-Iweala, who emerged among the two top candidates for the position of Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said Trump was axed from the microblogging platform because he broke some laid down rules by Twitter, which led to the permanent suspension of his account.

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Okonjo-Iweala said this in an interview with Arise Television, Friday. She said, “Twitter tries to help the public conversation in the world and gives people a means to engage on important issues. Being on the Twitter board, I have to respect our rules for communications on what is happening. I have to be very honest that we as a board agreed that we have a team that will deal with this, to make sure we have one voice.

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“But, I can tell you that if you want to know why the decisions were taken, please look at the statement by the CEO, Jack Dorsey, I think it tells you all you want to know. Twitter is an organization that has rules under which it operates, and if you read what it puts out, you will see that things are being implemented according to the rules,” she said.

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It would be recalled that Trump’s Twitter was suspended for allegedly inciting violence on his account. Following the suspension, the Chairman Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter, Jack Dorsey released a statement on his Twitter account.

Dorsey said, “I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter. Was this correct?. I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all. That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.”

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Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian economist and International development expert.

She is a former Nigerian minister of finance. She served under the ministry two times, 2003-2006 under the administration of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and 2011-2015 under the administration of former President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Okonjo-Iweala is currently vying for the postion of DG of WTO. She is facing opposition from South Korea’s Too Myung-hee. Okonjo-Iweala is part of many board members of international organizations. She sits on the boards of the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and African Risk Capacity (ARC).

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