ON June 2, Twitter deleted a post by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari where he referred to the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War as the way to treat ‘those misbehaving today,’ saying it was the ‘language they will understand.’
The tweet, according to Twitter, violated the platform’s safety rule.
Twitter also deleted a video posted on the official handle of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, @NGRPresident, where Buhari made the threat.
President Buhari had, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, threatened Biafra agitators, saying those responsible for the destructions of INEC properties would be treated the way a secessionist group, Biafra, was treated during the Nigerian Civil War
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” Buhari said.
Twitter said a “user can violate its rule if he violates the safety rules of the platform, under the safety rules, the platform listed violence, terrorism/violent extremism, child sexual exploitation, abuse/harassment, hateful conduct, suicide or self-harm, sensitive media, including graphic violence and adult content, among others.”
The Twitter violence rule states that a user must not threaten an individual or a group of people. The rule also states that a user must not glorify violence.
“Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Learn more about our violent threat and glorification of violence policies,” the rule states.
Apart from Buhari, other world leaders whose tweets have been deleted include: former United States President Donald Trump; Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro; Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Venezuela President Nicola Maduro.
Before his account was permanently suspended on January 8, some tweets from Trump’s account had been deleted in relation to US November presidential election.
A Trump post deleted by Twitter on January 6, 2021, reiterated the false claim that the election he lost was stolen and encouraged his supporters to remember that day going forward.
Trump had said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he tweeted. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter later took down the tweet, saying that it had violated the company’s rules.
A tweet he later sent out on the US official government account @POTUS was also deleted.
Trump had tweeted, “We will not be SILENCED!” from the @POTUS government account, with 33.4 million followers. Twitter had permanently suspended the president’s go-to megaphone, his @realDonaldTrump personal account, hours earlier.
“Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH,” Trump wrote in the now-deleted tweets, adding that he was considering building his own social media platform in the near future.
Another president whose tweets were also deleted is Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.
Two tweets from Bolsonaro were deleted after they contained false or misleading information about COVID-19.
According to Brazilian newspaper Folha, the deletions were the first time the site had taken action against content posted by Bolsonaro, first elected in October 2018.
Bosolonaro had posted videos of himself taken during a walking tour in Brasília Sunday (30th of March, 2020), in which he praised the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for treating the virus and encouraged an end to social distancing and isolation measures in the country.
Bolsonaro’s tweet came after a small French study indicated chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as positive cures for COVID-19.
Bolsonaro, in one of the deleted videos said, “What I have been hearing from people is that they want to work. Brazil cannot stop or we’ll turn into Venezuela.”
Also, Venezuela President Nicola Maduro’s tweet, in which he publicly recommended a ‘natural brew’ as a potential cure for coronavirus, was also removed by the tech giant from its platform.
Twitter also removed one tweet from Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s English account and suspending new posts on it.
The Khamenei account had posted in January of 2021 that coronavirus vaccines produced by the U.S., Britain and France were ‘completely untrustworthy’ and accused the Western powers of trying to ‘contaminate’ other nations by offering to send them the vaccines.
I call on @Jack to suspend @khamenei_ir account for spreading dangerous lies about COVID-19. He has banned Iranians from @Twitter but spreads lies on the same platform about vaccines. His posts MUST have a warning label, at least.
Please retweet this. pic.twitter.com/XCxDXK7qBw
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 8, 2021
Twitter said in an interview with VOA that the offending tweet violated the platform’s misleading information policy, and the @Khamenei_IR owner would have to delete the post before regaining access to the account.