BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The political environment in the United States has already been changed by social networking. Barack Obama pioneered the use of big data and microtargeting on social media in his 2008 presidential campaign, increasing his chances of winning the presidency. In the 116th Congress, a record number of women, Muslims, and persons of color were elected. Because of their efficient use of social media, several of these previously unknown politicians may gain office despite their meager financial means.
“The introduction of social media in politics dramatically transformed the way campaigns are run,” writes Tom Murse (2019) for Thought Co. In the field of communications, the use of social media in politics is a relatively new phenomenon. Political campaigns today use social media to develop a candidate’s political identity, educate and attract people, and spread information, similar to how integrated marketing strategies employ branding and discourse to achieve success. According to Allison Gosman (2016), social media “has evolved into a strong vehicle for political campaigns to coordinate their communication plans,” resulting in the creation of shareable content that politicians and supporters may use to raise awareness, engage the public, and solicit votes. Social media can help forecast voter behavior when combined with traditional political analytics like party affiliation and exit polls. Understanding the various platforms–their reach, capacities, and mechanics–is critical to 21st-century politics.
DiGrazia G. (2013) discovered that online “‘buzz’ about a candidate on social media can be utilized as an indication of voter behavior” on Twitter, and that this “holds whether the Tweet is good or negative.” The authors also come to the conclusion that polling data is only a small part of the knowledge candidates need to succeed, and that social media analytics are critical in today’s campaign.
Twitter, a low-cost social networking medium with great precision, has fast become a political need. It enables candidates with limited financial means to reach out to specialized audiences for a fraction of the expense of traditional communication channels.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Because of the surge in political news disseminated on various types of social media, younger generations are becoming more active in politics. Younger generations are more exposed to politics as a result of their increased usage of social media, and in a way that is interwoven into their online social life. Because of the number of ideas, thoughts, and opinions moving through the social media platform, a communication platform such as social media is persuasive and frequently works to modify or influence beliefs when it comes to political views. It has been discovered that following political candidates on Twitter leads to political persuasion. As a result, the more people utilize social media platforms for political news sources, the more likely they are to be persuaded. The more their political beliefs are influenced, the more they will be influenced. However, with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s recent Twitter ban on June 5, 2021, there is suspicion that this may have an impact on the political campaigns of both political candidates and sponsored political parties in Nigeria, particularly in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Suc impact could result in decreased political engagement from eligible voters in electioneering or a negative vote for a representative due to a lack of knowledge about the candidate that would have been available on social media platforms. As a result, the purpose of this study is to look into the impact of the Twitter ban on political campaigns.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to look into the impact of the Twitter ban on political campaigns. It will, in particular,
Determine the nature of the Twitter ban’s impact on Nigerian political opinion.
Examine the extent to which political campaigns were pushed through political parties’ Twitter accounts prior to Nigeria’s Twitter ban.
Examine the extent to which political awareness was spread via political parties’ Twitter accounts prior to Nigeria’s Twitter ban.
Examine how the current Twitter ban in Nigeria may effect voter participation and candidate choice in the upcoming general election in 2023.
The following questions guide the investigation:
What is the nature of the Nigerian electorate’s political opinion as a result of the Twitter ban?
What was the extent to which political campaigns were pushed through the Twitter accounts of political parties in Nigeria prior to the Twitter ban?
Before the Twitter ban in Nigeria, how much political awareness was created by political parties’ Twitter accounts?
Will the current Twitter ban in Nigeria effect voter turnout and candidate selection in the upcoming general election in 2023?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The empirical and theoretical aspects of this work will be valuable to political parties, candidates, and electorates, as this study depicts the nature of the twitter ban influence on political campaigns, as well as the significant roles performed by this subject under study. More specifically, the study will be extremely beneficial to students, researchers, and other anyone who may be interested in gathering or doing any research relevant to the topic.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The focus of this research is on the impact of the Twitter ban on political campaigns. The study is limited to a political party because they are the ones who project their party candidate through social media campaigns. The political party chosen is the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, hence the study’s respondents are PDP members in the Uyo Secretariat.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The following are some of the study’s limitations:
Finance: Due to the researcher’s financial difficulties, a bigger sample size that would have allowed the study to reach a larger region has been impossible; as a result, this work is limited to only Uyo Local Government in Akwaibom State.
Time: It’s not surprising that the researcher’s time was limited, as this posed a direct threat to the thorough coverage sought in this report. The researcher intended to interview all members of the selected State’s political parties, however due to the researcher’s multiple activities, which include academics, job schedules, and other social activities, it became nearly impossible to explain the results.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Twitter is a microblogging and social networking website based in the United States that allows users to send and receive 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 functioning of Twitter, as decreed by the Federal Government of Nigeria on June 5th, 2021, until the proprietors of the social network meet the government’s newly stated requirements.
A political campaign is an organized effort aimed at influencing the process of decision-making within a given group. Political campaigns are commonly used in democracies to refer to electoral campaigns in which representatives are elected or referendums are resolved.
Nigeria bans Twitter when the corporation deletes President Buhari’s message, according to CNN (2021). On the 5th of June 2021, I was able to get a hold of some information
The personalization of politics: Political identity, social media, and shifting patterns of involvement, DiGrazia G. (2013). 644(1), 20-39, ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES.
A. Gosman, A. Gosman, A. Gosman, A (2016, October 20). Social media and the 2016 presidential election provide real-life examples. Nasdaq Corporate Solutions is a division of Nasdaq. Retrieved from https://marketinsite.nasdaq.com/2016/Real-Life-Lessons-Social-Media-and-the-2016-Presidential-Election.html.
T. Murse, T. Murse, T. Murse, T (2019, May 25). The impact of social media on politics. Thought Co. is a company that creates ideas. https://www.thoughtco.com/3367534/how-social-media-has-changed-politics
The Washington Post is a news organization based in the United (2021) “Nigeria suspends Twitter after the president’s account was frozen by the social media platform.” The ISSN number for this article is 0190-8286. On the 5th of June 2021, I was able to get a hold of some information