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Nigerians are the meanest people on social media that you can’t beat – but join them

June 21, 2019 at 10:00 am | Opinions & Features

Etsey Atisu

Etsey Atisu | Staff Writer

June 21, 2019 at 10:00 am | Opinions & Features

You will get to read about this controversial subject and the people at the center of it soon and this is not intended to be a rushed article so let me ask: do you realize how quickly people seem to forget that until very recently, Twitter didn’t seem so fun?

In fact, do you know that unlike some other social media sites like Snapchat, Instagram, QZone and Facebook, Twitter did not get upstarts in its global acceptance and use?

“The End of Twitter.” Those were the headlines, forcing the head of the service down a tunnel it was not even designed to fit in but for what market players saw at the time, Twitter was in trouble.

And, do you remember how loudly people shared their disinterests about Twitter for reasons such as “you don’t get to write enough on the site” until it became an even more exciting place to share long stories and follow long conversations through multiple posts and comments?

Facts are facts and Twitter is not taking the Facebook approach, which is more centered on expanding to every industry: Twitter is focused on improving the kind of stuff it should have done right all along – enhancing its communication pipeline where information flow can be directed through other services.  

Well, in 2019, Twitter is much bigger and in many places of the world, influencing discussions. Twitter’s growth is so evident that it was a big force in putting Barack Obama in the Oval Office as the first African-American president and played major roles in the uprisings in Iran and Egypt.

For instance, President Donald Trump too has made Twitter a synonym to his presidency, using the platform to make comments on major decisions affecting his country and pretty much the world, epitomizing the power of this platform. The media around the world today periodically prefers to check the official Twitter accounts of their leaders for information than wait for a press release or a news conference to hear them express their views on issues.   

That is how essential Twitter has become today but have you considered the trolling of the people of Nigeria? It’s not to say that Nigerians are always at it with their tweets but have you actually considered tweets coming from there?

In a 2016 article on The Next Web, it analyzed why the future of Twitter should be in Africa, stating how users in Africa have the tendency of using the platform more in voicing out their political views than there ever seems to be in places like the United States and the UK.

Nigerians, though, are not always up and about things happening politically on Twitter as much as they are about building Twitter-muscles and Twitter-claws in almost everything that they feel should or could be entitlements of theirs. And when they have done so, it has been fierce and extended. And they do bring such a force of back-up with them that, when it seems to have died down, they appear victors.

For instance, Nigeria has been in a long Twitter war with Ghana and much later, Senegal, over the favourite Jollof rice meal and its origin, as well as which of the two countries serves the best one. The debate has been unsettled but it is the savagery that Nigeria brought to the turf war that made it an even bigger digital-fisticuff.

They were at it with Kenya in the #SomeoneTellNigeria tweets in a #KenyaVsNigeria war of words for supremacy over which nation has the best of things.

And increasingly, Nigerians have become notorious for looking for the most troll-worthy things to say, either in response to something like a question, or, just simply to make a statement of disagreement with someone. But thankfully, their responses have been more humorous than just brutal.

There is no doubt that Nigerians are largely humorous people and if you doubt that, you should know now that the country boasts of some of the funniest and truly talented comedians on the continent.

They are changing the narratives and rewiring the way Twitter encourages conversations and that is why just when something huge breaks or goes viral today, you should be keener than before to get a seat on their most popular pages for just the juiciest and nerve-racking trolling.

It’s perhaps a revolution and none seems to be able to match them at this game but there is just one easy way out of all of this – join them.

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