Nigerian government joins Koo days after banning Twitter
The Nigerian government has joined Koo, less than a week after banning Twitter. What does that really imply for India's own microblogging platform?
The Nigerian government has joined its India-made rival Koo, less than a week after banning American microblogging site Twitter indefinitely.
Nigeria's government opened an account on the Indian microblogging platform Koo on Thursday, only days after the African country banned Twitter.
Koo announced shortly after the ban that it was now available in Nigeria and that it was trying to integrate local languages to its platform.
Aprameya Radhakrishna, a co-founder of Koo, welcomed the government to the platform. “Welcome to the official Twitter account of the Nigerian government, @kooindia! He added on Thursday that he is now spreading his wings beyond India.
Twitter's response to the ban?
Even within Nigeria, there were others who criticised Twitter's suspension as a breach of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.
“We are gravely disturbed by the shutdown of Twitter in Nigeria,” Twitter said in a statement. "In today's world, having access to a free and open Internet is a basic human right. We will endeavour to re-establish access for all Nigerians who use Twitter to communicate and connect with the rest of the world.”
What does this mean for Koo?
The Nigerian government's move to join Koo after Twitter was banned solidifies the platform's status as a viable alternative to Twitter. Even in India, Koo's rise was hampered by the Indian government's several conflicts with Twitter. The Centre has ordered Twitter to remove many tweets and suspend accounts that it considers being illegal in the last approximately six months.
Twitter does not always comply with these requests, causing a rift between the two parties. Twitter has also failed to comply with India's new IT guidelines for digital media intermediaries, according to the government.
At a time when Indian authorities were putting pressure on Twitter, Koo announced a $30 million fundraise from notable investors including Tiger Global. Koo's valuation increased approximately fivefold to $100 million as a result of the fund-raise.
Nigeria banned Twitter on 5th June after President Muhammadu Buhari's threat to punish secessionists was removed from the microblogging sites. He alluded to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970, as well as treating "those misbehaving today" in "the language they will understand."