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Social media is recognised as a means for public education, whether constructive or detrimental. Its application has been well welcomed across multiple platforms. This study examines how Port Harcourt residents perceive the Social Media Report on the 2019 elections.

The study examined linked literatures on social media and recognised various scholars. The survey approach was utilised, with a questionnaire as the tool.

The survey discovered that citizens of Port Harcourt believed the 2019 Presidential election results were rigged based on the results available on many social media handles.
Chapter two.


1.1 Background of the Study.

Nobody doubts that the major role of social media—Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and so on—is to link people via interactive computer-mediated platforms so that they can share information. During the process, social networks are formed, some temporarily, others permanently, and often for specialised goals.

However, we also know that the usage of technology is often determined by the users and the aim. In recent years, social media has been used extensively to mediate the political process and conversation.

Politicians throughout the world use social media to convey information in order to acquire supporters and donors. The advantage of social media for them is the ability to communicate directly with supporters while bypassing regulated conventional media such as radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, as well as press conferences.

Issues expressed in mainstream media and political campaigns are discussed, and then recast or repackaged in fresh light on social media. Supporters and opponents of specific causes and ideas are then given the option to engage in unfettered debate from the comfort of their own homes via various social media platforms. As a result, several voices are heard that would otherwise be silent.

The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama demonstrated the benefits of employing social media in political campaigns. Almost every facet of the campaign used social media to communicate with supporters, including advertising, advance work, organising in all 50 states, and fundraising.

Facebook, YouTube, and, most notably, Twitter were utilised to inform Obama supporters about his views on crucial subjects. These social networking platforms have emerged as important virtual communities in his campaign,

with frequent use legitimising their role in politics. Since Barack Obama’s win, the use of social media in India has increased significantly, and social media was first employed in the India Against Corruption movement in 2011.

Anti-corruption activists and sympathisers used social media to quickly disseminate information and organise protests. Indians also used social media to express their support for India Against Corruption (IAC).

However, the primary goal of using social media in this movement is to attract and connect individuals to it, as well as to raise public awareness at a minimal cost.

Nigeria was predicted to have more than 92.3 million internet users by the end of 2018, more than the country’s estimated 6.6 million television subscribers. Of these, 16 million use Facebook, while Twitter has an estimated 1.8 million monthly users. According to Pew Research, approximately 45% of Indian web users use social media to discuss politics.

With elections approaching, there is a lot of discussion and conjecture about the role of social media on the outcome, particularly how it has fueled some recent movements. Nigerian parties are increasingly cognizant of the importance of Internet platforms in attracting tech-savvy voters.

As a result, urban political parties are becoming more tech-savvy, realising that this is the only way to reach out to the eloquent young, which has the potential to revolutionise democratic political discussion.

While political parties continue to rely on traditional campaign tactics such as posters, rallies, cardboard cutouts, and door-to-door canvassing to attract votes, many politicians recognise that social media will have an impact on the 2018 election.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Although the 2019 elections have passed, the event is still fresh in our minds. President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) re-contested for the presidency,

but he was severely opposed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) nominee, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Both were popular in the tournament since they had millions of fans and supporters.

However, the APC candidate was declared the winner at the conclusion of the day. Looking at the elections, numerous elements came into play, one of which was the impact of social media. The Rivers State governorship election was held, and the INEC pronounced it inconclusive;

however, social media also played an important role. The fact is that most electorates, who are internet users, rely on social media sites for information. Social media sites propagate news,

whether phoney or true. The purpose of this study is to assess how Port Harcourt citizens perceive the 2019 election results as reported by social media.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study aims to achieve the following objectives:

a. Determine the extent to which social media influenced voters’ choice of political candidates during the 2019 presidential election.

b. To see if presidential candidates’ popularity during the 2019 presidential election was influenced by their social media activity.

c. Determine the extent to which social media influences the voting patterns of the electorate during the 2019 presidential election.

1.4 Significance of the Study

It is prudent to carefully consider the aftermath of every incident. This is because it will assist expose any holes that were discovered during the process but were not appropriately addressed. Port Harcourt locals are not new to social media; a sizable proportion of them make up Nigeria’s internet user numbers.

This study will assist the social media analyst in understanding how Port Harcourt citizens see the 2019 elections. It will demonstrate to the parties that the electorate is well-informed about current events in politics.

Furthermore, the survey will be useful for comparison purposes, since people of other cities can compare their perceptions to those of Port Harcourt locals in order to get a statistically significant result.

1.5 Research questions.

a. How much did social media affect voters’ selection of political candidates during the 2019 presidential election?

b. Was the popularity of presidential candidates during the 2019 presidential election influenced by their social media presence?

c. How much did social media influence the electorate’s voting patterns during the 2019 presidential election?

1.6 Research Hypotheses.

Ho 1: Political communication on social media has no influence on voters’ choices of political candidates for the 2019 presidential election.

Ho 2: The popularity of presidential candidates in the 2019 general election has no substantial association with their use of social media during the campaign.

Ho 3: Exposure to political propaganda on social media did not alter electors’ voting patterns in the 2019 elections.

1.7 Scope and Limitation.

The study has been expanded to include numerous literatures on social media and political communication. We investigated the role of social media in the 2019 elections, as well as the negative consequences of abusing social media during the campaign.

However, the study is limited to the perspectives of Port Harcourt inhabitants. As a result, further research might be performed to analyse other cities in order to gain a national perspective.

1.8 Organisation of the Study

The study is organised into five chapters. The first chapter introduces the study and provides background information. Chapter two examines connected and pertinent literature.

The research technique is presented in Chapter 3, and the data analysis and interpretation are presented in Chapter 4. The study closes with Chapter 5, which discusses the summary, conclusion, and recommendations.

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