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Twitter Ban: Nigeria loses $243 million 51 days after

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The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to ban Twitter in Africa’s most populous country in June, has dealt a blow to its revenue ambitions.

According to Netblocks Cost of Shutdown Tools, which uses the classic Free Digital App GDP impact technique, Nigeria has lost at least $243 million in the past 51 days since the Twitter shutdown.

Despite this, Twitter on Thursday posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the second quarter thanks to growing advertising demand across all geographic regions and types of ad products.

The San Francisco-based company earned $65.6 million, or 8 cents per share, in the April-June quarter. That’s up from a loss of $1.38 billion, or $1.75 per share, a year earlier.

In Nigeria, Twitter recorded $1.19 billion in revenue in Q2 2021, against the $683.4 million Twitter reported for the corresponding period of Q2 2020.

The United Nations, foreign capitals from Washington to London and rights groups have all condemned the ban as a threat to freedom of expression.

Nigeria’s broadcast regulator took a step further, ordering television and radio channels to suspend their Twitter accounts and stop using the social media giant for news, branding its use as “unpatriotic.”

Even using a VPN to access the platform would lead to investigation and possible suspension of broadcast licenses.

For a young channel like News Central, expanding but still fighting for its place in the market, the Twitter ban is a setback.

“We largely depend on the referrals we get from Twitter to attract to our YouTube Channel, and to our channel on the satellite StarTimes,” Oladayo Martins, head of the digital for News Central told AFP.

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