"If Facebook was a country, it would be North Korea." Last year, the British journalist who had revealed the Cambridge Analytica affair described in The Guardian Facebook's “totalitarian” drift, writing that the social network is now “out of control”. This is more or less what the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, says. Censored by Twitter, the head of state published a long rant on Facebook in which his services scratch Twitter and… Facebook. Buhari recalls how Mark Zuckerberg's social network indirectly participated in the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. And he warns that “big tech companies need to take responsibility. They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the dissemination of racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of bringing communities back to back, resulting in loss of human life ”. By declaring war on terrorism in Nigeria, Buhari was censored by Twitter. His reaction was immediate: the head of state suspended the little blue bird in his country.
Operation Carthage, Guinea and Uganda
Muhammadu Buhari acted as a dictator, some will say. But what are Twitter and Facebook the name of? Social networks have taken more and more place in the lives of African internet users. And Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg are now taking advantage of their status as digital kings to breathe hot and cold. Buhari was elected, Dorsey and Zuckerberg won. Wherever American interests are threatened, they censor. By closing accounts and pages in the Operation Carthage affair, named after a Tunisian company that participated in presidential campaigns on behalf of candidates who were not very Americanophile. Or by closing the accounts of several Ugandan government officials to put pressure on Yoweri Museveni. At the same time, Facebook was letting the Alpha Condé regime carry out influence operations after the discovery of a well-organized network of pages making propaganda for the Guinean regime. Indeed, Facebook has nothing to envy Kim Jong-un, or even Xi Jinping, the Chinese president.
Facebook gets its hands on infrastructure
By acting according to American interests on our continent, the social networks Facebook and Twitter undermine Africa's digital sovereignty. Some, like Museveni yesterday or Buhari today, are making radical decisions. But the evil is deeper. By opening their doors to private investors in telecoms and in the internet sector, and by letting Facebook manage the infrastructures itself, the various African governments have left all the freedom to the American giants to get their hands on the market. the data. They know much more about their African clients than the powers that be themselves. Where African citizens try to remain discreet in their own country, they let the web giants store their data on servers in Ireland. Faced with the digital dictatorship, states must now legislate, under the leadership of the African Union. At the risk of losing control on the web and letting American social networks act with impunity.