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‘Norgeria’: Norway asks Twitter to remove Nigeria labels

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The certified Twitter accounts of Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt and her ministry were for several hours all presented as Nigerian government officials or institutions.

Norway’s top diplomats on Tuesday asked Twitter to stop presenting its most senior politicians and institutions as being from the African country. The Elon Musk-owned social media site labelled the certified Twitter accounts of Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt, and her ministry as Nigerian government officials or institutions.

The foreign ministry mocked the bizarre mix-up in a tweet saying, “Dear @TwitterSupport, as much as we enjoy our excellent bilateral relations and close alphabetical vicinity with Nigeria, we would much appreciate it if you could label us as Norway. P.S. That also goes for Prime Minister @jonasgahrstore and foreign minister @AHuitfeldt.”

Twitter places labels and small flag icons on some accounts to signal affiliation with governments. Recently, automated mislabeling of tweets has also been a problem on the microblogging site.

Internet users quickly caught the error and made memes and jokes to criticise Twitter. Many made fun of the company’s growing reliance on automation for account verification following Musk’s approximately 50 per cent personnel layoffs.

“So it’s actually been Norwegians all along that keep sending everyone those letters about a dead prince and advance fees,” wrote one person in reference to fraudulent “Nigeria letters”.

“Norgeria?” mused another.

”They must have fired the one guy who knows how to find both countries on the map,” a user wrote.

Another commented, ”Good luck getting a response from support. That office is probably down to an answering machine at this point.”

More than four hours after the Norwegian foreign ministry’s request, the mistake was not rectified.

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