JCMR Articles 11.2

Social media and the rise of digital activism among students in Nigeria

March 31, 2020
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Abstract This study examines the impact of social media in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest in order to further understand the effect of digital tech...

Abstract

This study examines the impact of social media in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest in order to further understand the effect of digital technologies in the rise of digital activism among students in Nigeria. The researcher adopted a mixed methods approach in this paper, featuring two principal methods: (a) a purposive cross-sectional quantitative survey of media platforms used by student protestors (n=440) and (b) a semi-structured qualitative interviews on student protestors’ experiences before, during and after the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest (n=19).  Our results indicate that social media (WhatsApp, 2go, Eskimi, Facebook, Badoo and YouTube) were used most by the protesters to plan, coordinate, mobilise for the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest, and to document their participation in the protest. Of the platforms analysed, Facebook was the most used platform for protest purposes while Eskimi increased the likelihood that a student attended the first day of the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest. This paper uncovers that social media were dependent on prevailing social connections between friends and families, and confirms that these applications are enhancing the relocation of politics from the parliament towards single-issue groups in the society.

Key Words: Digital activism, collective action, connective action, Occupy Nigeria, social media, social movement. 

Author’ Bio

*Temple Uwalaka, Ph.D., lectures at the Department of Arts and Communication, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Australia. He teaches Communication and Journalism Units to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university.  His research interests include digital activism, digital journalism, social marketing campaigns and the use of online and mobile media to influence political change.

 

JCMR Journal of Communication and Media Research, Vol. 11, No. 2, October 2019, pp. 15 - 27

 

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