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Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

Influence of Social Media on Electioneering Processes during the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

Abubakar Salihu, Aliyu Ishaq Abdullahi

Keywords: Democracy, social media, elections, technological determinism, fake news

Abstract

The advent of the social media in recent times has dramatically transformed the way information is created, disseminated, distributed and consumed. In an age where information equates power, diversity of opinions has greatly influenced the evolution of creative problem solving skills and ensured more equitable outcomes that have resulted to good governance and democratic consolidation across human society. In Nigeria, the social media played an influential role during the 2015 general elections. Relying on a systematic review of secondary sources, this paper through the lens of technological determinism theory examines how the social media altered social structures and cultural values during the 2015 electioneering period within the Nigerian society. Major findings established that the social media altered the meaning of geographic distance within the Nigerian society during the 2015 general elections in the country. Altogether, electioneering processes were altered in manners that they allowed a huge increase in the volume of communication flow; thereby increasing the speed of communication and also providing opportunities for interactive communication in domains that were previously difficult to overlap and interconnect. The paper’s conclusion affirms the weak or non-existence of social media regulations in Nigeria. Hence, the paper recommends the review of media laws in Nigeria in order to address absurdities in form of fake news and cyber bullying associated with the social media including Facebook, blogging and Twitter, during periods of general elections in Nigeria.

Author Biography

Abubakar Salihu

Aliyu Ishaq Abdullahi

Department of Public Administration

Faculty of Management Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

get2abusalihu@gmail.com & aliyuishaqabdullahi012@gmail.com

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