Use of Social Media in the Generation and Diffusion of Information during the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

Irenoa, Kenneth Ohis Use of Social Media in the Generation and Diffusion of Information during the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria., 2017 Masters Degree thesis, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. [Thesis]


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English abstract

Information plays a vital role in every society. It has the potentials to create conflicts situations and peace, if properly and contextually understood and well managed. The ways and channels through which information flows have profound implications if not properly understood. The study sought to understand the role that social media played in the generation and diffusion of information during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria; to achieve this four research questions were raised: What types of information were generated and diffused on social media about the presidential candidates during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria? What types of information were shared on social media about the presidential candidates during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria? How did social media friends make sense of information shared with them about the presidential candidates during the 2015 Nigeria general elections? How do the two constructs of dual process theory (Informational and Normative factors) explain information generation and diffusion on social media during elections? The study which is a qualitative research was premised within the interpretive paradigm, with Deutsch and Gerrard’s Dual Process Theory used as a theoretical framework for the study. The case study approach was used to investigate the phenomena. Nine (9) respondents were purposively sampled for the research and a content analysis of their social media pages was conducted. Inductive approach was employed in analyzing the data realized from the content analyzed pages from the respondents, which yielded two hundred and sixty-two (262) open codes, from which eighteen (18) sub-categories, seven (7) categories, and three (3) major themes were derived. The findings of the study showed that there was a higher use of social media during the 2015 general elections as compared to previous elections and was used to post offensive information about the candidates. Also, the study revealed that most people shared or were most likely to share what they believed to be true which had propaganda and high misinformation. People and friends on social media made sense of information received at face value and in most cases were not as interested in the message posted but where the person making the post was from. The social media was extensively used to propagate hate and divisive sentiments during the 2015 electioneering period in Nigeria. The study concluded that as social media continues to gain immense traction in terms of use in society, steps need to be taken to reduce the unending possibilities for misinformation, propaganda, and rumours which if misconstrued could lead to conflict situations.

Item type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: Social Media; Information Generation; Information Diffusion; Elections; Nigeria; 2015
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BC. Information in society.
B. Information use and sociology of information > BG. Information dissemination and diffusion.
H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HT. Web 2.0, Social networks
Depositing user: Mr. Kenneth O. IRENOA
Date deposited: 26 Jul 2018 07:45
Last modified: 26 Jul 2018 07:45


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