Social Media as a Voice to the Voiceless: The Nigerian Experience

Abstract

Social media as a communication tool has some advantages over the traditional media because of its ability to bridge the gap between the privileged and the less privileged. The study looks at how the social media was used to give voice to the voiceless especially in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria which led to a change in administration. The study focused specifically on how comments on some social media like WhatsApp and Twitter was used in the campaign for change among the youths in Nigeria. Anchored on the Agenda setting theory and technological determinism theory the study adopted a multiple research approach- survey and focused Group Discussion. Some youths from the tertiary institutions in Kogi State were used for the study. Findings revealed that over 95% of the Nigerian youths were sensitized for the election through social media; that it was actually through the postings on the social media that created awareness for them to desire for change. The study recommends amongst others that the human right activists, the media and the government should sensitize the people more on the need to use social media to express themselves, claim their rights, and expose the ills of the government and that of the society. The freedom to give and receive information is vital for the development of any nation consequently the use of social media should be viewed as a fundamental instrument for social change and development in Nigeria.



Author Information
Chika Euphemia Asogwa, Kogi State University, Nigeria

Paper Information
Conference: EuroMedia2015
Stream: Social Media and Communication Technology

This paper is part of the EuroMedia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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