Americans woke up on Saturday to wonder why “werey” was trending on their version of micro-blogging app, Twitter. They also wondered what “werey” meant. Many likely found no answers. But the answer was hidden in Nigeria!
Not that Nigerians are “werey” — which is a word used to describe a “mad man” in local parlance. But after a ban on Twitter in the West African country, many Nigerians switched to virtual private networks (VPNs) to access the social network.
VPN servers are located in many countries of the world, but the most popular free VPN locations are in the United States, Netherlands, and Ireland. Other choice destinations are Japan, Hong Kong, and Russia.
With many Nigerians tweeting virtually from these locations, issues from Nigeria began trending worldwide.
In the Netherlands for example, June 12 protest was trending, alongside late preacher TB Joshua, [President Muhammadu] Buhari, and a few other issues from Nigeria.
In Hong Kong, another location flooded by Nigerians through VPN, Nigeria was the top trend for the most part of Monday and Tuesday.
Despite special global interest in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Nigeria beat Apple and WWDC to the top spot in Hong Kong.
In Canada, the Nigerian “dream country”, the Twitter ban hashtag was also the leading trend on Monday, as more and more Nigerians — physically and virtually — kept tweeting about the indefinite Twitter suspension.
Trends across different politics and technology on Twitter across many of these locations have been on issues relating to the Twitter ban in Nigeria.
The United States, which has been the biggest country affected by Nigeria’s VPN Twitter, a lot of different issues have been trending — many of them derogatory.
The Nigerian trends have reduced slightly in the US as the week progressed, but have increased in many more countries where VPN servers are located as Nigerians “stroll” from country to country — virtually.
What countries have you been to today, and what are Nigerian issues are trending there? Let us know.