Nigerian President Says Twitter Ban Will Be Lifted If His Conditions Are Met

( You may remember reports about how Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari banned Twitter from the country. We certainly do, because it made us think about just how great things could be…

But now, the president is reportedly planning on lifting the ban, so long as a number of conditions are met by Twitter.

In an address to the nation on Friday, the country’s Independence Day, President Buhari said that Twitter will need to register and pay taxes in Nigeria if it plans to continue operating in the country. The company would also be required to abide by various “national security” rules and local content guidelines.

It effectively means that, if Twitter wants to operate in Nigeria, it will need to enforce certain laws in the same way that it does in countries like Pakistan where “Islamophobic” content is routinely censored.

The president said that the issues are currently being addressed and he has directed that the suspension is lifted “but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens to continue their use of the platform for business and positive engagements.”

Positive engagements? President Buhari knows it’s a platform people use to argue with each other, right?

Many tech-savvy people in Nigeria have been able to bypass the ban of the website by using virtual private networks, but major companies have abided by the ban over the fear of being caught.

Twitter has been inactive in Nigeria since June. The site was banned in the country after Twitter deleted a tweet published by President Buhari comparing gunmen attacking the offices of the national electoral commission to the Nigerian Civil War.

If Nigeria reins in Twitter’s control and censorship before the United States does, what does that say about us?