Why is #RIPTwitter trending across Africa?

Currently, the hashtags #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter are the most used terms on Twitter around the world – including Kenya, South Africa and Ghana – as users fear the social media platform will be shut down.

The trending hashtags appear to be in response to news that the company’s new CEO, Elon Musk, has “temporarily closed” the company’s offices, effective immediately.

There are additional concerns that closing the platform would have significant implications for how the voices of citizens and activists can be amplified to hold power accountable and forge alliances with like-minded people around the world.

The use of Twitter’s hashtag feature has been central to bringing African issues to the attention of a global audience by making them a trending topic on the platform. The hashtag #EndSARS — which topped the world on the day of the Lekki tollbooth shooting with more than 1 million tweets — brought international attention to police brutality in Nigeria.

In 2018, a video showing women and children being killed by Cameroonian soldiers went viral on Twitter, prompting a BBC Africa Eye investigation that led to the arrest and detention of these soldiers.

In 2014, the hashtag used to draw attention to the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria was so closely tied to the story that America’s former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of herself with #BringBackOurGirls written on a piece of paper .

Why is #RIPTwitter trending across Africa?

Many online are now looking for an alternative to the social media platform and There is hope that an African-made app called Dikalo could be an alternative for the continent.

The company – named after the word for message in the Douala language – was founded in 2017 by Cameroonian Alain Ekambi and has a mission to become “Africa’s best social network”. They also claim that they have seen a spike in new users in the weeks following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

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