IMPACT OF TWITTER BAN ON SOCIAL SUPPORT AND HUMANITARIAN SERVICE
IMPACT OF TWITTER BAN ON SOCIAL SUPPORT AND HUMANITARIAN SERVICE
HISTORY OF THE STUDY
Humanitarian aid is material and logistical assistance provided to individuals in need. It is usually only temporary assistance until long-term assistance from the government and other organisations replaces it. The homeless, refugees, and victims of natural catastrophes, wars, and famines are among those in need.
Humanitarian aid initiatives are made available for humanitarian causes and cover both natural and man-made calamities. Humanitarian aid's fundamental goal is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and preserve human dignity.
Humanitarian help is regarded as “a fundamental expression of the universal value of human solidarity and a moral imperative.” Local or multinational communities can provide humanitarian assistance. In reaching out to foreign communities, the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is in charge of coordinating emergency responses.
It calls on the Inter-agency Standing Committee, whose members are in charge of providing emergency help. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP) are the four principal UN institutions in charge of delivering humanitarian relief.(wikipedia.org)
However, the recent decade's social media explosion has had extraordinary effects on many elements of daily life, particularly in hastening the way crisis-displaced people receive humanitarian relief and social support. Just as humanitarian crises became “closer to home” with the introduction of hashtags and trends on social networking sites, social media has once again reduced the distance between crisis victims and humanitarian organisations, facilitating potential assistance and immediate humanitarian response to those affected by crisis.
Twitter, like other social networking sites, is not immune to giving timely information during a crisis. Twitter is the third most popular social networking service in the world, with approximately 175 million registered users, according to Sid Johann (2018).
The information network provides users with access to a tremendous amount of information and allows individuals to communicate with other users, organisations, and the media via 140-character ‘tweets' or by uploading images and other material (Twitter, 2011).Given the success of Twitter, scholars are concerned about the recent Twitter ban in Nigeria, which was imposed by the federal government on June 5, 2021.
STATEMENT OF THE problem
With the escalation of humanitarian crises, the function of humanitarian institutions has grown significantly in recent years. All nations are threatened by the inevitability of disasters and hence seek better ways to prepare for and recover from them, and evolving techniques that involve public participation in activities that can complement and sharpen the responses of crisis responders is part of that.
Using social media to not only inform, but also organise public communities towards disaster resilience is a relatively new phenomena that has many official response organisations wondering if their old methods of reacting to crises will continue in a digitising world.
In times of crisis, communication becomes the lifeblood of humanitarian efforts, allowing victims to obtain prompt assistance from responsible organisations. For example, consider the story of one Inibong Umoren, who went missing and was located through the hashtag (#findhinyumoren) tweeted by her friend on May 4th, 2021, even though she was dead, but the perpetrator of such act was apprehended.
Other examples include the Haiti earthquake and political turmoil in Iran and Kenya, demonstrating how multifaceted social media can be in influencing humanitarian crises. The response to the Haitian earthquake was exceptionally robust, and information exchange and cooperation between NGOs and states aided in the reunification of family members and the distribution of food aid to the most vulnerable areas.
A ban on social networking sites such as Twitter, on the other hand, could impede persons in distress from receiving timely social support and humanitarian relief. This study will investigate the impact of Twitter's prohibition on humanitarian services and social support based on this premise.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to look into the impact of Twitter's ban on humanitarian services and social support. Specifically, the research will
Examine the extent to which disaster victims received quick responses via Twitter hashtags prior to Nigeria's Twitter ban.
Examine the extent to which social help was provided to persons in need via Twitter posts prior to Nigeria's Twitter ban.
Examine if the current Twitter ban in Nigeria will have an impact on the subsequent humanitarian efforts of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other social assistance organisations.
To ascertain the nature of the impact of the Twitter ban on crisis victims.
The following research question guides the investigation.
What was the extent to which crisis victims received fast responses via Twitter hashtags prior to Nigeria's Twitter ban?
What was the extent to which social help was provided to persons in need via Twitter posts prior to the Twitter ban in Nigeria?
Will the current Twitter ban in Nigeria have an impact on NGO and other social support organisations' humanitarian efforts?
What is the nature of the impact of the Twitter ban on crisis victims?
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Because this study depicts the nature of Twitter's ban on humanitarian activities and social support, as well as the significant roles played by these subjects under study, it is critical to note that the findings and theoretical aspects of this work will be relevant to non-governmental organisations, civil societies, and philanthropic individuals. Furthermore, the study will be extremely beneficial to students, researchers, and other individuals who may be interested in gathering or carrying out any research relevant to the topic.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The focus of this study is limited to the impact of Twitter's prohibition on humanitarian and social support efforts. As a result, the study is limited to a single non-governmental organisation in Kaduna State.
limitations OF THE STUDY
During the course of this investigation, the following elements may represent a hindrance.
Financial constraint- A lack of funds tends to restrict the researcher's efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection procedure (internet, questionnaire, and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will conduct this investigation alongside other academic activities. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Twitter is a microblogging and social networking website that allows users to post and interact with messages known as “tweets.” Unregistered users can only view tweets, while registered users can post, like, and retweet them.
Twitter Ban: This is the official halt in the operation of Twitter ordered by the Federal Government of Nigeria on June 5th, 2021, until the proprietors of the social network meet the newly set condition imposed by the government of Nigeria.
Social support is the feeling and reality that one is cared for, that help is available from others, and, most commonly, that one is part of a supportive social network. These resources can be emotional, informational, or companionship; they can be material or intangible.
Humanitarian aid is material and logistical assistance provided to individuals in need. It is usually only temporary assistance until long-term assistance from the government and other organisations replaces it.
CNN (2021) reports that “Nigeria bans Twitter after the company deletes President Buhari's tweet.” Retrieved on the 5th of June, 2021.
Malteser International, Sid Johann Peruvemba (May 31, 2018). “Why the link is dangerous.” D+C stands for Development and Cooperation. Retrieved on August 13, 2018.
Deliver Humanitarian Aid”. United Nations, 7 December 2014. On March 19, 2018, the original version was archived. Retrieved on April 28, 2018.
“Nigeria suspends Twitter after the social media platform freezes the president's account,” Washington Post (2021). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved on the 5th of June, 2021.