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IMPACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ELECTION OUTCOMES: AN ANALYSIS OF NIGERIA’S 2019 ELECTIONS

ABSTRACT

Over time, social media networks have proven to be a valuable source of information and communication on a global scale, resulting in a significant number of diverse datasets. This capacity allows for the analysis of vast amounts of data from online users on nearly any topic. Organizations, media outlets, politicians, artists, and performers, among others, use social media to reach out to a larger audience. According to previous studies, social media platforms play an important role in election campaigns and other political disputes. Despite the growing number of studies on the impact of social media on elections, Africa’s greatest democracy (Nigeria) has received little attention; this is the motivation for our research. We used Twitter to collect a huge number of tweets for the study. We tracked political parties and candidates’ internet activities and analyzed user feedback to better understand their feelings. To analyze the parties’ online campaign methods, we use a revolutionary way of reverse engineering Twitter accounts. The civil society used twitter for interactions and discussing the available candidates, resulting in the availability of much information about them and increasing awareness for a wide range of social media users, according to the findings. Finally, our Twitter analysis properly predicts the winner in 24 of the 37 states when compared to the actual election results (including the Federal Capital Territory). Our findings show that

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