Nigeria ban: Twitter did not author ‘We have reviewed our actions’ post in circulation

A photo tweet claimed that Twitter had promised to respect the laws and sovereignty of Nigeria. It has been circulating on the social media, attributing its origin from verified public policy account of the microblogging platform.

This image circulated amidst a ban placed on Twitter in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Findings by the FactCheckHub showed that the photo was a manipulated image and therefore false.

The photo shared on WhatsApp was also posted on Twitter by a user with name and handle, Fulani son, @NigeriaFirst1.

A reverse image search done by the FactCheckHub showed that the image was posted on Nairaland forum, However, multiple users on the platform had commented that it was ‘fake.’

The claim shared on Twitter by user Fulani son.
The claim shared on Twitter by user Fulani son.

The Claim

That Twitter, through its public policy account, made this statement:

“We’re committed to peace, progress and freedom of speech of the Nigerian people. We have reviewed our actions and are in communication with the Nigerian Government and promise to respect the laws and sovereignty of Nigeria #KeepItOn”.

The Findings

The Factcheckhub recently debunked a claim where a manipulated image was used to falsely claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tweeted that the Nigeria President Buhari could not think properly and might need medical attention.

Jack Dorsey
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at a tech hub in Lagos when he visited Nigeria in 2019. Photo: Jack Dorsey.

The image under verification was presented to look like a screenshot of a tweet from Twitter Public Policy account.

A scrutiny showed  that the image had been manipulated. The ‘l’@’ sign’ should have preceded the handle ‘Policy’ – which is the account for Twitter Public Policy. However, it  was missing.

Secondly, the icon coming up whenever the hashtag #KeepItOn was used was also missing.

As at 1:15pm of June 7, the FactCheckHub checked, but the icon had not been deactivated by Twitter, which meant it was still functional.






     

     

    Twitter
    L-R: The fake tweet showing the inconsistencies and a tweet grabbed from Twitter Policy account.

    In addition, the tweet in question was not on the policy handle.

    The last post with regard to Nigeria Twitter ban was made on June 5, 2021. Twitter had stated that it was concerned by its blocking in Nigeria, noting that access to Open Internet was an essential human right in a modern society.

    Even though signs like the removing of #EndSARS logo, deleting of some of the separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu tweet and a press release from government had a milder tone and  indicated that the Nigerian government and Twitter might be having conversation, the above tweet was not from Twitter as purported.

    The Verdict

    The tweet in question was not from Twitter Public Policy as claimed, it was a manipulated image. Therefore, it was false. 

    Bamas Victoria is a multimedia journalist resident in Nigeria.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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