World Twitter needs India and Nigeria to grow. It's running into trouble in both
Nigeria: The authorities confirm the removal of 136 students on Sunday
Video: New schoolchildren in Nigeria: dozens of kidnapped students in a Muslim school (France 24) Your Browser does not support this video © - screenshot of a video of the AFPTV touring on May 31, 2021 showing a classroom of a private school where more than a hundred students have been kidnapped in Tegina, Nigeria the number Students kidnapped on Sunday at a Muslim private school in the center of Nigeria, amounts to 136, according to an assessment of the authorities, who struggle to stem the ki
Twitter is under siege in two countries that are critical for its global growth plans.
The social media giant has been ensnared in a battle with the Indian government for months, and is contending with restrictive new rules pushed by New Delhi. If that wasn't enough, even more dramatic events are unfolding thousands of miles away along Africa's Western coast.
Opinion: India's Covid crisis should not be symbolised by funeral pyres
Many Indians are angry about what they see as Western media bias in the publication of near-daily images of funeral pyres in pandemic reports on the country, writes Shareen Joshi, Not only do these pictures fail to reflect the complexity of India, these inadvertent media flubs are now "routinely weaponized" by political actors.As far as many viewers in the West are concerned, India's pandemic crisis is encapsulated by one enduring image: flaming funeral pyres. On an almost-daily basis this disheartening tableau can be seen in outlets ranging from the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and BBC.
Nigeria last weekTwitter after the company deleted a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened a brutal clampdown on unrest in Africa's most populous nation. The Nigerian government federal prosecutors to arrest users of the app.
The restrictions in India and the ban in Nigeria are troublesome for Twitter. While the company does not break down user data for these countries,suggests India is among its top five markets. Asia's third-largest economy — with its users and many more yet to come online — is also Twitter's top growth market. Meanwhile, population of 200 million have Twitter accounts, according to NOI Polls.
Twitter is banned in Nigeria after it removed president's tweet
The site has been blocked in the country, and the government has reportedly ordered authorities to arrest and prosecute Twitter users. "We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society," Twitter said Saturday, in a tweet from its public policy account. "We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world."Twitter, Facebook and other social sites have been trying to figure out how best to deal with controversial tweets from politicians.
Now that Nigeria has shown it isn't afraid to ban Twitter, some worry India might be next if the tussle between New Delhi and the company can't be resolved.
"If this continues, the Indian government's China Envy will become Nigeria Envy,"internet activist Nikhil Pahwa, the Delhi-based founder of tech website MediaNama.
"You may see more calls for banning Twitter in India, if it continues to defy the government," Pahwa told CNN Business.
The Silicon Valley-based company's response to political pressure in these countries will decide its trajectory in fast-growing economies that are critical to any global expansion strategy. Successfully navigating the tensions could give other American technology firms a roadmap for dealing with governments that have increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
Death toll rises to 88 in attack in northwest Nigeria: police
Police in northwest Nigeria's Kebbi state told AFP Sunday that the death toll from an attack by a gang of cattle thieves on seven villages Thursday had risen to 88. "Initially 66 bodies were recovered but 22 more have been found," Kebbi state police spokesman Nafiu Abubakar said, adding that the search for more bodies was ongoing. Dozens of assailants on motorcycles attacked seven neighbouring villages in Danko-Wasagu district on Thursday, Abubakar said.The gunmen targeted the villages of Koro, Kimpi, Gaya, Dimi, Zutu, Rafin Gora and Iguenge, he said.Many people were still unaccounted for Sunday after fleeing the attacks.
New challenges abroad coincide with strains at home, where Washington has shown a willingness. And it doesn't help that former US President Donald Trump — who is currently banned from Twitter and Facebook — has to follow Nigeria's example.
Months of tensions have led to Twitter's problems in both Nigeria and India.
Nigerians felt snubbed by Twitter when the company decided earlier this year to set up its first, instead of the continent's largest economy.
Even though almosthave a Twitter account — more than the entire population of Ghana — there are some geopolitical considerations that might have influenced Twitter's decision. Ghana ranked 13 places higher than Nigeria in 2019 on the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business Index." When in April, Twitter described Ghana "as a champion for democracy, a supporter of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet."
Tensions escalated this month when Twitter deleted the post by Buhari for violating its policies on abusive behavior.
As India's surge wanes, families deal with the devastation
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Two months ago Radha Gobindo Pramanik and his wife threw a party to celebrate their daughter's pregnancy and the upcoming birth of their long-awaited grandchild. They were so happy that they paid little attention to his wife's cough. It's an oversight that may forever haunt him. Within days, his wife, his daughter and his unborn grandchild were all dead, among the tens of thousands killed as the coronavirus ravaged India in April and May. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) It's an oversight that may forever haunt him.
The country countered Twitter's decision by banning the platform for allowing the use of "activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence," according to Nigeria's Ministry of Information and Culture. In an interview with, the ministry said it would reinstate Twitter if it "registers as a company in Nigeria."
The company, meanwhile,it "will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world."
"The Nigeria ban will definitely get many other emerging economies thinking about how to also get the attention of platforms," Gbenga Sesan, executive director of Paradigm Initiative, which works on digital inclusion and rights in Africa, told CNN Business. He added that if Twitter meets Nigeria's new registration requirements, "then such countries could try the same approach in order to get tax revenues."
Threats to free speech in India
In India, tensions were ignited in February as protesters used Twitter to voice their opinions against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new agriculture laws. The companyover an order to take down accounts at the IT Ministry's behest, ultimately complying in part but refusing to take action against journalists, activists or politicians.
3-story building collapses in India in heavy rain, kills 11
NEW DELHI (AP) — A three-story dilapidated building collapsed following heavy monsoon rains in the western Indian city of Mumbai, killing at least 11 people and injuring seven others, police said Thursday. Dozens of rescuers were clearing the debris to find any residents possibly still trapped, police officer Ravindra Kadam said. Kadam said the building collapsed late Wednesday. Heavy monsoon rains during the day had flooded several parts of the city that is India’s financial and entertainment capital. © Provided by Associated Press Children play near a flooded bus stop during heavy rains in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, June 9, 2021.
In May, police turned up at Twitter's office in New Delhi after the company decided to label a tweet from a spokesperson for Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as "manipulated media." Police saidwas "part of a routine process" to get Twitter to cooperate with its investigation. The social media company blasted the move as " " and said that it was "concerned" about the safety its employees in the country.
India'shave only intensified the chill. They include demands that companies create special roles in India to keep them in compliance with local law, and for firms to stay in contact with law enforcement 24/7. There are also requirements that services remove some types of content, including posts that feature "full or partial nudity."
Twitter has said it has concerns about "core elements of the new IT Rules," and the "potential threat to freedom of speech" in the country. But Modi's government says the company is trying to "undermine India's legal system" by its "deliberate defiance" of the rules.
"Twitter needs to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land," the government said in a statement in May. "Law making and policy formulations is the sole prerogative of the sovereign and Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no [place] in dictating what ... India's legal policy framework should be."
For many in India, the debate around social media usage in the country is not so much about freedom of speech but rather about a foreign company challenging the might of the Indian government, Pahwa told CNN Business. He added that the ban in Nigeria "adds more fuel to that fire."
Nigeria's indefinite Twitter ban sounds the alarm on free speech
Nigerian writers Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún weigh in on Nigeria's decision to indefinitely ban Twitter after the platform deleted a controversial tweet by the president.A man used his mobile phone to read headline news on Twitter inside an office in Lagos, Nigeria, June 7, 2021. Nigeria's government announced on Friday that it was suspending Twitter indefinitely in Africa's most populous nation, a day after the company deleted a controversial tweet President Muhammadu Buhari made about a secessionist movement.
Hire locally, grow locally
In order to survive and thrive in these emerging economies, companies like Twitter may have to invest more in local teams and understanding local laws, experts said.
And government pressure may already be weakening Twitter's resolve.
After signaling its reservations with the new social media rules last month, the company has now said it remains "deeply committed" to India, which is among its largest markets in the world.
"We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared," the company said in a statement this week. "We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian government."
For Vivan Sharan, partner at Delhi-based tech policy consulting firm Koan Advisory Group, the Nigeria shutdown and the debate in India may be a "wake-up call" for western social media companies to "grow local capacity to moderate content, and devolve decision making to country offices."
"This is of course a tall order for new-age companies that are used to global scale and presence, without commensurately large investments on the ground," he said.
"Most social media majors spend the largest share of their operational bandwidth on developed markets. This paradigm is untenable and is now beginning to shift," he added. "Companies that don't double down on localization in emerging markets, may find themselves on the wrong side of the splinternet."
— Stephanie Busari in Lagos contributed to this report.
They Shared a Video of a Muslim Man Being Attacked in India. Now They're Being Investigated by Police .
Reporters Without Borders called the move 'judicial harassment'The trigger was a video of a violent assault on a Muslim man that went viral on Twitter, which ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officials say was used to spread misinformation aimed at stoking religious tensions.