Nature of Tweets in the 2015 Nigerian Presidential Elections

Nature of Tweets in the 2015 Nigerian Presidential Elections

Nwachukwu Andrew Egbunike (Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria), Noel Ihebuzor (Evidentis Development Associates, Abuja, Nigeria) and Ngozi Onyechi (Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2015040103
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Abstract

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a means for social engagement. In Nigeria, Twitter is employed to convey opinion and make commentary on matters ranging from football to politics. Tweets are also used to inform, advocate, recruit and even incite. Previous studies have shown that Twitter could be effective for political mobilization. However, there is dearth of research on how Twitter has been used as a purveyor of neutral and/or hate speech in the Nigerian context. This study examined the nature of tweets in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria. The authors employed content analysis of 250 purposively selected tweets from the #Igbo hashtag which trended between March 29 and 31, 2015. The tweets were then categorized into five explicit hate and one neutral tweet category respectively. Results revealed the dominance of three hate tweet types: derogatory, mocking and blaming. These findings were then discussed bearing in mind earlier theories on the functionality of tweets and voting patterns from an analysis of the election results.

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