These are the countries that ban Twitter, Facebook and TikTok

Twitter users in Nigeria were allowed to access the platform for the first time in seven months last week, after the government there reversed a controversial ban on the social networking site.

The Nigerian government ordered telecommunications companies to block access to the website in June, after Twitter deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari deemed to be inciting ethnic violence, for violating the “abuse” policy. The authorities retaliated against the social media platform, widely used by journalists and activists in the country, blocking the site from mobile networks and condemn what it calls “activities likely to undermine the existence of the Nigerian company” on the platform.
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Nigeria lifted the ban on January 13 after it secured Twitter’s pledge to open a local office, appoint the head of its business in the country, and pay domestic taxes. Months before the ban, Twitter chose Ghana as the location of its first office in Africa, overlooking the continent’s largest market, Nigeria.

While Nigerians can now access Twitter without using a virtual private network (VPN), some other countries continue to block access to mainstream social networking sites.


Meta-owned Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in China since 2009, as part of a government crackdown on activists following deadly riots in Xinjiang province. China’s restriction of foreign media platforms and censorship of non-governmental documents has been dubbed the Great Firewall of China. Meta’s messaging platform, Whatsapp, and photo and video sharing app Instagram were also blocked.

WeChat, an all-in-one messaging system developed by Tencent, is the widely used alternative in China. The app has been subsidized by the government since its creation in 2011 and is obligated to share users’ data with the state. WeChat has a monopoly on user data, including small apps for paying bills, booking doctor appointments and filing police reports. In 2017, WeChat revealed plans for virtual ID card that will be recognized by the state.

Although the video-sharing app TikTok was developed by Chinese company Bytedance, it is not available in China. Instead, users can download a twin app, Douyin, also developed by Bytedance. Douyin has restrictions such as blocking international content and limits for use by children. The Chinese state owns a stake in subsidiary Bytedance, which controls China’s domestic information and social media platforms.


When TikTok launched in India in 2016, the country became one of Bytedance’s biggest markets outside of China: Data released April 2020 shows 30% of TikTok downloads from India. The application supports many regional languages, making it accessible to many people in the country.

However, in June 2020, the government of India banned TikTok, along with 58 other mobile apps, quote “The activities… are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the state and the public order.” The move was seen as retaliation by the Indian government for the clash between Indian and Chinese forces at the Himalayan border. China’s WeChat app is also blocked. ByteDance has scaled back its Indian operations, essentially withdrawing from the country since the ban.


Facebook and Twitter have been banned in Iran since 2009 amid disputed elections and mass protests, restricting the public. government objections. Some users have learned to bypass blocks using a VPN. However, proposed legislation can criminalize VPNs, require IDs to access the internet, and give security agencies control over the web. In 2020, Iran claims to be working with China to create a Iranian national internet, could introduce similar controls for the Great Firewall of China.

In January 2021, Twitter has blocked an account some people are said to be connected to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who made threats against Donald Trump. Khamenei himself has an official Twitter page.

North Korea

North Korea Officially blocked Facebook and Twitter in 2016, and announced that anyone trying to access them in an “inappropriate way” or distribute “anti-republican data” from them would be punished.

Before the ban, very few North Koreans had access to the worldwide web, and most were confined to a government-controlled intranet. The official blocking of social networking sites mostly affects foreigners posting information from North Korea to the wider world.


The former Soviet Central Asian state bans Western social media platforms as well as popular Russian networks. In addition to blocking Facebook and Twitter, Turkmenistan, a largely Muslim country, requires citizens arrive swear on the Qur’an when they sign up for a home internet connection they won’t be able to access the VPN. Students are required sign the statement pledge not to use the internet to access prohibited sites. These are the countries that ban Twitter, Facebook and TikTok


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