Social Media in Politics: Interrogating Electorate-Driven Hate Speech in Nigeria's 2019 Presidential Campaigns

Authors

  • Agaptus Nwozor Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9782-6604
  • Olanrewaju O. P. Ajakaiye Mass communication Programme, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6672-9916
  • Onjefu Okidu Mass communication Programme, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria
  • Alex Olanrewaju Department of Political Science and international Relations, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1933-1443
  • Oladiran Afolabi Department of Political Science and Diplomatic Studies, Bowen University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v14i1.683

Keywords:

Social Media, Facebook, Hate Speech, Elections, Nigeria

Abstract

Social media has become an indispensable and dominant means of communication and dissemination of information worldwide. This paper focuses on the use of Facebook by political supporters and electorates to canvass for support for their preferred presidential candidates in the 2019 general elections and the underlying hate speech that emanated therefrom. In this context, this paper seeks to critically evaluate how political supporters and electorates used the instrumentality of Facebook to share hate messages during the 2019 presidential election and its impact on Nigeria’s political space. The results of this paper indicate widespread dissemination of hate comments by political supporters and electorates in the furtherance of their support for their preferred presidential candidates. The paper advocates responsible use of Facebook in electioneering and the imperative of regulation to guard against the circulation of hate electoral comments that could heat up the political arena and trigger electoral violence.

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Author Biographies

Agaptus Nwozor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State

Agaptus NWOZOR. Ph.D. is a senior faculty in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. He is currently the University Librarian/Director, Centre for Learning Resources, Landmark University. He is also an active member of the Landmark University SDG 16 (Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions) Research Group

Olanrewaju O. P. Ajakaiye, Mass communication Programme, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria

Olanrewaju O. P. AJAKAIYE. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate and a Lecturer in the Mass Communication Programme of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. He is a member of the Landmark University SDG 16 (Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions) Research Group.

Onjefu Okidu, Mass communication Programme, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria

Onjefu OKIDU. Ph.D. is a Senior Lecturer in the Mass Communication Programme of Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. He is a development communication specialist. He has consulted for a wide clientele, including the World Bank and WHO in Nigeria.

Alex Olanrewaju, Department of Political Science and international Relations, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria

Alex OLANREWAJU is currently a postgraduate candidate in the Department of Political Science and International Relations,  Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Nigeria and works as an Administrator in the Vice Chancellor's office at the same institution.

Oladiran Afolabi, Department of Political Science and Diplomatic Studies, Bowen University

Oladiran Afoloabi holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Ibadan. He currently holds a faculty position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Diplomatic Studies, Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria where he also doubles as the Programme Coordinator.

Published

2022-07-19

How to Cite

Nwozor, A., Ajakaiye, O. O. P. ., Okidu, O., Olanrewaju, A., & Afolabi, O. (2022). Social Media in Politics: Interrogating Electorate-Driven Hate Speech in Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Campaigns. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 14(1), 104-129. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v14i1.683

Issue

Section

Research Papers