EXCLUSIVE: Twitter tells us why it suspended some influencers' accounts ahead of Nigeria's 2019 elections

Twitter Inc. confirms to Business Insider SSA by Pulse that it has suspended a small number of accounts in Nigeria for spam violations and part of election integrity efforts in the region.

Twitter Inc Office in New York
  • Twitter suspends some Nigerian influencers' accounts few hours to 2019 general elections.
  • The micro-blogging platform says the effort is to help amplify election-related information from legitimate sources.
  • A Twitter spokesperson says the platform will collaborate with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and domestic political party stakeholders to during the 2019 elections.

Ahead of Saturday's general election in Nigeria, Twitter, a micro-blogging platform has suspended the accounts of some social media influencers, Business Insider SSA by Pulse can confirm.

The platform says the effort is to help amplify election-related information from legitimate sources.

On Friday morning, Twitter suspended some account holders on its platform. Some of these Nigerian Twitter influencers’ accounts include Badmus Hakeem (Tweets @Bhadoosky), Jokunle (@Jokunle), Ani Nomso (@ani_nomso), Shawnife (@Shawnife_), Official Bmax (@OfficialBmax), Uche Kush (@UcheKush_), Lazy Writa (@LazyWrita), Rouvafe (@Rouvafe), Abdulaxis (@iam_abdulaxis), Switchme, Enekem Greg (@EnekemGreg).

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa by Pulse reached out to Twitter Inc. to confirm the story and it was confirmed that a small number of the account in Nigeria have been suspended.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the suspension to Business Insider SSA by Pulse on Friday.

“We have suspended a small number of accounts in Nigeria for spam violations as part of our election integrity efforts in the region.

“We will continue to monitor the conversation closely and take aggressive action pursuant to the Twitter Rules,” the spokesperson told Business Insider.

Twitter collaborates with INEC on 2019 general elections

Twitter says it is collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and domestic political party stakeholders to “ensure they have clear reporting channels to bring potentially problematic accounts or content to our attention.”

In October 2018, Twitter released an update on elections integrity work enforcing to detect fake accounts and inauthentic activity violating its guidelines.

Social media accounts are usually used for fake news and circulation of unverified information from illegitimate sources during elections in Nigeria. The electoral umpire had issued several warnings in this regards, upholding that it is the only body recognised by laws to release official election results.

Nigeria is heading to the poll on Saturday, February 16 for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

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