FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Nigerians Celebrating The Government’s Twitter Ban?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows Nigerians celebrating the government’s decision to ban Twitter.

Verdict: False

The photo, which dates back to 2012, shows Nigerians protesting the removal of fuel subsidies, not celebrating the government’s recent ban of Twitter.

Fact Check:

The Nigerian government banned Twitter usage in the country in early June, The New York Times reported. Prior to the government issuing the ban, Twitter had removed a tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened secessionists, according to the outlet.

Facebook users have since been sharing a photo that supposedly shows a crowd of Nigerians celebrating Twitter’s suspension in the country. In the picture, hundreds of people can be seen walking in a street. (RELATED: Did Nigeria Purchase WhatsApp From Facebook?)

A reverse image search revealed the image does not depict Nigerians celebrating the government’s banning of Twitter. Instead, it shows people in Nigeria protesting the government’s removal of fuel subsidies back in 2012. CNN included the picture in a January 2012 article titled “Nigerians protest end of fuel subsidy” that reported on the demonstrations.

“Nigerians take to the streets to protest – Protesters took to the streets on Monday, January 9, in a nationwide strike against the Nigerian government’s decision to take away fuel subsidies,” the photo’s caption reads.

The Nigerian government’s decision to suspend Twitter has not stopped usage of the social media platform by some Nigerians, who have utilized Virtual Private Networks to skirt the ban, according to BBC News. 176 Nigerians and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project recently filed a lawsuit seeking an interim injunction on the government’s ban of Twitter, Reuters reported.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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