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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Twitter quietly unblocks phone authentication for Sudan


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February 8, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese Twitter users were pleasantly surprised on Tuesday morning after discovering that they can now use their local mobile numbers to link to their accounts.

On Twitter, jubilant Sudanese celebrated the move predicting a mass migration of users from Facebook.

For many years users in Sudan were denied this feature which forced them to rely on friends and family members outside the country to help them authenticate their Twitter accounts using non-Sudanese numbers.

But this workaround was as reliable as the person overseas and in some cases, accounts were permanently locked when Twitter flags the account for suspicious activity.

Twitter has stubbornly resisted explaining the reason for excluding Sudan which created a huge inconvenience for activists in a country undergoing political upheaval.

In 2018 former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that they are working on setting up Sudanese numbers before going mum.

In late January, the San Francisco-based company again refused to provide any explanation or offer clues on when Sudanese users can expect to receive this functionality.

A Twitter spokesperson today confirmed the addition of Sudan to the phone list.

“We’re always working to expand access to our service around the world and can confirm that phone sign-ups are available in Sudan,” the spokesperson said in an emailed response to {Sudan Tribune}.

The Twitter official declined to specify when the change was rolled out or when will Sudan be added to the list of geographical locations.

Another issue also faced by Sudanese users is the unwillingness of Twitter to verify accounts owned by public figures and institutions including government officials, entertainers and newspapers.

Late last year Twitter denied a verification request submitted by the Sudanese ambassador to the United States Nureldin Satti (@SudanAmbUSA) despite submitting all the required documentation.