ROLE OF TWITTER AS A TOOL FOR POLITICAL EDUCATION A study OF THE END SARS PROTEST
ROLE OF TWITTER AS A TOOL FOR POLITICAL EDUCATION A STUDY OF THE END SARS PROTEST
Background of The study
The advancement of modern technology and the ever-changing complexity of the world's societies have revolutionalized the manner in which information is gathered and disseminated. Citizens have taken use of the chance provided by current technologies in order to stay informed about what is going on around them.
The internet has become the most significant technical revolution of the twentieth century, with a sizable portion of the world's population having access to it. It is now the largest market place where products, services, information, ideas,
and knowledge can be found with the press of a button. The application of these technologies is the efficient, cost-effective, and convenient exchange of essential information among individuals using online media tools known as social media.
The desire for power and the need for change have been recurring elements in every democratised nation. Politicians seeking power seek to achieve their objectives by forming political parties that support their ideology, visions, and desires.
Similarly, those who wish to overturn the status quo and support revolutionary ideas join groups in order to bring their goals to fruition. Both parties, however, cannot fulfil their goals and desires without the general public's backing.
However, before they can join the train, the target supporters must be convinced. This is where the media, as a true tool of political socialisation, comes in.
Globalisation's entry into world politics has altered the sociopolitical atmosphere of global politics. Globalisation is like an Octopus, with tentacles in all aspects of human activity and connection. The strength of globalisation, on the other hand, resides in transformations and technological advances in the nature, timeliness, and efficacy of the internet.
The internet, which supports various social platforms such as facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Telegram, is faster and more responsive than traditional media forums such as print media, television, radio, and telephony,
and has thus become a veritable instrument of information gathering, dissemination, and evaluation. One is prone to agree with Friedman (2007) when it comes to social media.
As a result, in this globalisation period, the internet plays a critical role in forming political beliefs, boosting political activity, and influencing voting behaviour globally. (Sanatokeskus TSK: Sosaalisen median sanato. Helsinki 2010)
Social media is defined as “the new information network and information technology, using a form of communication utilising interactive and user-produced content, and interpersonal relationships are created and maintained.”
As a result, Twitter encourages interaction and public participation in a variety of human causes. As a result, the unrestricted interactive nature of Twitter has provided several possibilities for the public to interact on a variety of Nigeria-related issues.
This study will show that the chances introduced by Twitter have given Twitter users a tremendous amount of power to influence the political and social elements of Nigeria.
During the Twitter revolution, there was an online activism debate between “cyber-enthusiasts” and “cyber-skeptics” (Gadi et al, 2013, p.1). Cyber-skeptics attributed little importance to new media in achieving social change through activism, claiming that the internet misleads people about political participation and prevents them from participating in physical protests;
whereas cyber-enthusiats saw the internet as a tool for mobilising and informing people for greater social transformation. However, cyber-enthusiasts have won the debate over the years as online activism, particularly hashtag activism,
has been used to achieve social transformation, as with the examples of #OccupyWallStreet, #BlackLivesMatter, #BringBackOurGirls, #Ferguson, #ArabSpring, and most recently the #Endsars campaign in Nigeria, which has had a lot of success.
Online activism in Nigeria may be traced back to 2009, when former Nigerian rapper eLDee used Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the country's intermittent power supply. This arose after his pal was unable to have surgery due to a power outage.
He invited four other young Nigerians, Sheile Ojei, Amara Nwakpa, Seyi Kuyinu, and Nigerian singer, Banky W, to participate in a public discussion about the country's bad electricity situation (Odewale, 2014). The slogan “Light Up Nigeria” was mentioned during their internet conversation.
Today, Nigerian politicians and political parties use Twitter at various times to deliver critical information and education to the public about their policies and/or manifestos. That is, social media, particularly Twitter,
serves as a veritable instrument in the hands of politicians and others in imparting meaningful political education to individuals. This research project explores the usage of Twitter and its impact on political education and mobilisation against this backdrop.
STATEMENT OF THE problem
The issue is that political activists in Nigeria have struggled to mobilise their political acts and communicate with mass audiences and potential supporters through mainstream media. The issue stems from the nature of the mainstream media. Mainstream media firms in Nigeria are either owned by the government or by for-profit corporations.
In either instance, alternative political or anti-government beliefs have a difficult time finding a home in mainstream media. The research concentrates on the issue of “Whether Twitter can be an alternative to mainstream media for political activists to spread their ideas freely and efficiently and moreover mobilise political protests” .
Aim of the study
The primary goal of this research is to assess Twitter's utility as a vehicle for political education in Nigeria, with an emphasis on the #EndSars protest. This research study specifically intends to achieve the following goals:
To determine whether Twitter has any impact on political education in Lagos State.
To determine the extent to which Twitter use has offered political education to the people of Lagos State.
To determine how Twitter has offered political education to the people of Lagos State.
The significance of the research
The study will provide further understanding on the subject issue because it is a relatively new field in Nigeria's ever-changing field of communication. Because social media techniques have yet to be thoroughly explored for political campaigns in Nigeria, it is intended that the study would educate politicians and political parties on the role of Twitter in current political communication.
This research will also help the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civil society organisations build strategies to encourage the use of new media technologies in Nigeria's political process. Finally, the results of this study will serve as a foundation for future research in the subject of political communication.
The following research issues will be addressed by the project.
Is Twitter having an impact on political education in Lagos State?
To what extent has the use of Twitter brought political education to the people of Lagos State?
What are some of the ways Twitter has helped the people of Lagos State learn about politics?
scope of The study
The research on Twitter's utility as a tool for political education will centre on the recent EndSars demonstration. It will concentrate on the effectiveness of Twitter during Nigeria's peaceful protests, using Lagos as a case study.
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.