Human Factors and Cultism Control in Social Media for Higher Education

Human Factors and Cultism Control in Social Media for Higher Education

Ambrose Agbon Azeta, Raymond Ativie, Sanjay Misra, Angela E. Azeta, Felix Chidozie Chidozie, Olufunmilola Amosu
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1279-1.ch005
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The social media network is one of the trending platforms engaged for communication by students. Regrettably, this system has been used by persons to plan and commit cyber fraud and public vices. Some of the tertiary institutions including secondary and university in Nigeria have been turned to cultist environments resulting in killings and disorder amongst students in the school and environs. This is a situation that has continued to struggle with solutions in most higher institutions in the country, particularly in the government owned institutions. This obviously is a human factor issue that needs to be addressed. The objective of this study is to provide social media-based system that is integrated with anti-cultism component services towards combating cultism on campus. The platform will support interaction and learning on and off campus while at the same time helping to curtail cultism among students through filtering of keywords communicated on social media that are crime-based or cultism-related. In carrying out this study, appropriate research methods and implementation techniques such as modeling, design, server-side programming, database were deployed. The platform provides a dual platform that will enable active students to participate in learning, and also cultism control in the school system.
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The proliferation of secret cults in higher institutions in Nigeria and other parts of Africa can be traced back to the early 1950s (Chebli, Kallon, Harleston and Mansaray, 2007). The foundation of cultism was traced to confraternity, founded by a popular Nigerian and six others at the popular University of Ibadan in 1952. The confraternity was acclaimed to be peaceful, non-violent and protective as at them. However, in the 1980s, it grown into a secret cult whose activities has been described as violent behaviors. It is against this background that this paper enumerates the probable reasons and consequences of cultism in Nigerian institutions. The main causes of cultism in higher institutions were peer group influence; background of parents; societal vices; quality of educational standards; militarization of the Nigerian state; search for power and protection among others; lack of recreational amenities; (Ajayi, Ekundayo and Osalusi, 2010).

According to Oluwasanmi, Akande and Taiwo (2016), the major problems of cultism are the devastating environment created in our campus. Moreso, the activities of members of secret cult and their manner of operation is questionable going by the state of killings in our schools in modern times. Several lives have been truncated, or permanently maimed. Despite the approaches put up by the several institutions and arms of government for the purpose of minimizing the ugly menace of cultism, the menace on our schools campuses has refused to stop.

In the twenty-first century, the capability of students to take part in online learning is a key issue for stakeholders in the Nigerian educational system because of its attendant merits. As institutions continues to experience computer technology in service delivery, students have continued to engage in online network communication resources to commit crime and terrorism acts, particularly among innocent and easy going students’ colleagues on campus. The act of terrorism is a term used to describe violence or other forms of harmful behaviour. Walter Laqueur in 1999 counted over hundred definitions of terrorism and concluded that the only distinctive attributes generally agreed upon is that terrorism has to do with aggression and the threat of hostility (Laqueur, 2003).

Cultism on campus involves students that have been convinced to believe that they could get respect and power by initiating themselves into precarious groups. Indeed, this has no benefits. Cultist groups include: Black Berret; The Black Nationalist of Ife; Black Axe Night; the Buccaneers, the Pirates Confraternity, the Eiye Confraternity, the Neo-Black Movement of Africa, the Vikings, the Mafia, the Black Cobra of Ife, Green Berret, and lately the Daughters of Jezebel. Cultism eradication in our institutions has been a major concern to many educational stakeholders and researchers since there are advancements in the number of students that enroll in cultism in tertiary institutions (Udoh and Ikezu, 2014). The advancement of social network websites in the last few decades has resulted in a new avenue for the security agencies to gain access to intelligence from criminals who utilize these websites. It is essentials for law enforcement agencies to identify the potentials and understand the various methods that cultism crime investigators cannot only access but also analysis this content towards enriching the cases (Jones, 2017).

In restraining cultism with the application reported in this paper, the users communicate with each other using the forum and voice interaction. Thereafter, their conversations are recorded and sent to a remote server where a detailed analysis of the threat keywords are stored and processed for further investigation. Short Message Service (SMS) is also sent to the system administrator when the system encounters a threat keyword. The anti-cultism system developed and discuss in this paper is a step towards providing succor to societal vices facing higher institutions in Nigeria. These vices are caused by human factors that need urgent attention. One of the limitations of the system is that the privacy of users is infringed upon and the fundamental human rights as specified in UN (2019) are violated. The monitoring of social media by any agencies would pose considerable risks to users’ privacy and freedom of expression. Moreso, social media posts has the capability to reveal private details regarding an individual (Freedom of Expression, 2018).

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