Twitter on Monday (Jul 4) suspended the account of Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has carried out a series of attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria in the last few months which pushed the country’s crude production to 30-year lows.
The Avengers have used a Twitter account as its main form of communication, using it to publicise claims of attacks and as a platform to criticise Nigeria’s government.
The group – which says it wants a greater share of Nigeria’s oil wealth to be passed on to communities in the impoverished Niger Delta region – posted messages on Sunday saying it had carried out five attacks in the last few days.
“This account has been suspended,” said a statement on the account. “We do not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons,” said a spokesman for the social media site when asked about the reasons for the suspension.
However, the spokesman said the company’s policies included a “specific rule pertaining to violent threats” which states that “you may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism”.
In February, Twitter said it had shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of which were linked to the Islamic State group.
Many tech companies are increasingly taking stronger steps to police controversial content online in the face of threats from legislators to force the companies to report “terrorist activity” on their sites to law enforcement agencies.