The largest online forum in Nigeria, Nairaland is in blackout after Cloudflare seems to have set their server offline. Nairaland’s founder, Seun Osewa shared that Cloudflare initiated this after a report for abuse was filed against Nairaland two weeks ago. However, the nature of the abuse is still uncertain.
Seun Osewa shared a tweet on Monday evening stating that Nairaland’s website downtime was due to “an unscheduled maintenance operation” by Cloudflare. And on Tuesday, he said that the forum was taken down due to an entirely different reason. His tweet read “Nairaland’s server was taken down because I overlooked an abuse report that was originally sent on the 14th. After the takedown, I removed the offensive content,” he said “The technical support team has informed me that only the abuse team has the power to reinstate our server, that their review could take up to 48 hours, and that nothing can be done to speed up the process. I’ve been informed that the only thing I can do is wait. It’s humbling,”
Cloudflare is an American company that helps businesses with content delivery services. The company explicitly states on its website that it shuns malware, copyright infringement and hate speech.
It is no news that Nairaland is Nigeria’s seventh-most-visited website and it was launched in 2005. It boasts about 3 million users currently registered and with Nairaland, users can create content based on various topics and write their own opinions on different matters.
Nairaland has often been talked against for its design which hasn’t changed since its launch and the fact that content is not moderated as much as it should. Although Suraj Oyewale who is a one-time power user of the platform once said, “Good efforts are put into the moderation of the platform,” and “It is impossible to have a perfect public form as long as the content is user generated.”
Nairaland has different topics that range from technology to politics to entertainment to sports, etc. The inability to access Nairaland today has created a big hole in Nigeria’s online space and moving forward people will always have questions to ask about Cloudfare as a lot of people will see their actions as being harsh and unfair.