By Babalola Seyi
Over the past 10 years, Twitter has grown to be the fastest social media platform to generate and to get information, likewise a source of livelihood, companionship.
It was reported earlier that the Federal government on Friday said it was indefinitely suspending Twitter in Africa’s most populous nation after the company deleted a controversial tweet President Muhammadu Buhari made about a secessionist movement.
This ban as declared by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has a ripple effect on
millions of Nigerians.
Here are six ways Twitter Ban will affect Families, Businesses in Nigeria:
- Business sales/conversions
Many Nigerian small businesses use Twitter as their sole storefront while others combine efforts with other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. For smaller businesses, owning a Twitter account sidesteps the hassle of sourcing and renting a physical store. Bigger businesses use Twitter to update customers on new products and address immediate concerns about their product or service. With this ban, these businesses will be cut off from loyal users as well as potential markets.
- Job opportunities
Alongside the banter tweets across the timeline, tweets like this often go viral.
Hi, my name is Precious. I am looking for a job placement in Lagos.I am a graduate of UNILAG, study Accounting. I will appreciate referrals and any form of assistance in this regard. Kindly RT If this pops up on your TL.
pls RT..it’s for a friend🥺
Minorities which include smaller ethnic groups, and other underrepresented groups use Twitter to discuss issues that affect them. This helps them gain visibility and many times, help from random strangers on the internet. This also applies to atrocities committed by the government or criminal cases such as the Lekki Toll Gate Shooting or robbery hotspots across the country which might otherwise go without any demand for accountability. More recently, people tweet pictures of their missing loved ones in hopes that someone has some information about them.
Nigerians use Twitter as a source of news.
As Television and radio compete with social media platforms and streaming services, Nigerians rely on Twitter as a source of information. Many Nigerian news platforms break news on their Twitter accounts. The government often uses Twitter to pass information across the country. Without Twitter, the government is more or less out of touch with its people.
- Informal education
Twitter is a good way to learn things you would otherwise not know. For example, you will see people posting things like:
“Got my first writing job from Twitter. Got my first UI/UX gig from Twitter. I’ve made amazing friends on Twitter. This is what these people want to take from us.
- Fundraising/ sourcing for help
As the economy worsens, more and more Nigerians use Twitter to crowd raise funds for health purposes, academic purposes and sometimes even day to day survival. Many times, Twitter users have contributed enough money to see a family through distress. With a ban, such opportunities would be deprived of people who have no other alternatives.