The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has suspended interenet access to Twitter.
In other words, all Tweeps using MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile in the country cannot have access to Twitter currently via the networks.
According to the ALTON, this is in compliance to the directive of the Federal Government on Friday.
This was contained in a statement signed by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the association, and Gbolahan Awonuga, the Executive Secretary.
ALTON said “Based on national provisions in the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and within the licence terms under which the industry operates; our members have acted in compliance with the directives of the NCC”.
Recall The New Diplomat had reported that the government announced the indefinite suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the suspension was hinged on “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.
Meanwhile, The New Diplomat gathered that at about 11:59pm on Friday, the directive was officially implemented.
Many Nigerian Twitter users complained of not being able to perform their routine activities with their mobile networks.
However, following the implementation of the suspension, some Nigerians have opted for the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) in order to bypass restrictions.
The New Diplomat also gathered that some Nigerians have been able to gain access to Twitter through the VPN, notwithstanding the reported dangers associated with using it.
The microblogging site has been an integral part of many Nigerians’ daily life since the digital boom era. The platform serves as a source of income for many youths, with many politicians using it to disseminate information and even campaign for elections.
According to Statista, a German data company, about 104.4 million Nigerians are on social media platform as of January 2021.
While WhatsApp is the most popular platform used in the country, with over 90 million users according to Statista, about 61.4 per cent of Nigerian social media users use Twitter.
86.2 percent of the population use Facebook, 81.6 per cent use YouTube, 73.1 per cent use Instagram, and 67.2 percent use Facebook Messenger.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. It is a network system that allows users to use a private network as if their computing devices are directly connected to the private network.
How It works:
A VPN hides your device’s IP address by allowing the network to redirect it via a specially configured remote server hosted by the VPN. This allows you to hide your location, prevent your data from third parties by converting the data to gibberish.
You can be scammed using a fake VPN. Many online hackers rely on scamming those who are working the hardest to avoid scams. This means that users should be wary of free anti-virus installers, fake ‘alert’ pop-ups, and, yes, VPN software.
Another concern are the issues around data privacy. For free VPN, the company has to bring in revenue from somewhere else. Hence, data can make a detour via the VPN provider. It’s important for users to use verified VPN service to avoid getting in the harm’s way on the Internet.
“Please folks be careful the VPNs you download to use. Some expose you to vulnerabilities. If you can afford a paid one, that’s usually a better option,” A lawyer, Ms. Modupe Odele tweeted on Saturday.