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Government of Nigeria sets up official account on Koo, days after it suspends Twitter in the country

Days after Nigeria suspended the services of Twitter in the country, Koo founder Aprameya Radhakrishna announced that the Government of Nigeria has set up an official account on the made-in-India microblogging platform positioned as an alternative to Twitter.

Radhakrishna in a tweet said, “A very warm welcome to the official handle of the Government of Nigeria on @kooindia! Spreading wings beyond India now.”

This also comes a few days after Koo announced that the social media platform has plans to expand in Nigeria. Radhakrishna had then said that they were thinking of enabling Nigerian local languages in the platform.

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On June 4, the government of Nigeria announced that it had indefinitely suspended Twitter’s activities in the country. This was after the social media company removed a post of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari from the platform. The post threatened punishment for regional secessionists who have been blamed for attacks on government buildings, according to a report by Reuters.

In a series of tweets, the official account of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture said, “The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Here in India, Koo announced that it has complied with the IT Rules 2021 which came into force on May 25. Twitter has been embroiled in a tussle with the Indian government over the same rules. Refusal to comply with the rules would lead social media platforms to lose exemption from liability under the IT Act.

While Twitter had voiced its concerns over some of the provisions of the rules, the Indian government has repeatedly expressed its displeasure over the social media platform’s apparent refusal to comply with the ‘law of the land’.

The IT Rules 2021 has been under the scanner ever since it was announced in  February 2021. On Thursday, Madras High Court, while taking up a PIL challenging the IT Rules, issued a notice asking the Indian government to file a reply to the plea in three weeks. The petition filed by Carnatic singer TM Krishna, alleges that the Intermediary Guidelines 2021 was against fundamental rights and also ultra vires to the IT Act 2000.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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