Background of The Study
The advancement of modern technology, along with the ever-changing complicated character of the world’s cultures, has revolutionized the way information is gathered and disseminated. Citizens have taken use of contemporary technology’s opportunities to stay informed about what is going on in their communities (Trottier, D. 2012). The internet has become the most significant technical revolution of the twentieth century, with a large portion of the world’s population having access to it. In today’s culture, the use of these technologies in the efficient, cost-effective, and convenient exchange of key information and ideas among people via online media platforms like Twitter has become critical (Gerbaudo, P. 2012).
As a result, Twitter encourages dialogue and public participation in a variety of human challenges. As a result of Twitter’s unfettered participatory nature, the public has had several opportunity to interact on a range of Nigeria-related issues. More specifically, company owners and cooperative organizations have used social media (twitter) to market their services. It has provided a platform for small and medium-sized businesses to reach out to clients and targeted audiences, ultimately fostering business growth (Edwards, Housley, Williams, Sloan, Williams, 2013). As a result, it is apparent that the masses are using Twitter for reasons that are important to them, most notably to voice their thoughts and exercise their right to free speech on societal and political issues.
Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom, North Korea, Iran, China, Turkey, and, most recently, Nigeria have all proclaimed and sustained Twitter suspensions. The ban on Twitter in Nigeria, despite the enormous prospects and benefits it provides to society and its economic implications, is nothing more than a violation of human rights that cannot be blamed on democracy (as the Nigeria acclaims to be a democratic nation). As a result, the country’s Twitter ban is not only unconstitutional, but also an undemocratic exercise of power (Aljazeera New). In a democratic society, major decisions are made and implemented in the interests of the people. However, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration implemented the Twitter ban in an unprecedented and authoritative manner, thereby restoring citizens’ rights to social networking on Twitter. According to Aljazeera News, Twitter chose Ghana over Nigeria because the country is “a champion of democracy, a promoter of free expression, online freedom, and the Open Internet.” “It’s only been two months since Twitter launched its Ghanaian headquarters, and they’ve already shown themselves correct,” MacEbong added (Aljazeera news report). “This ban will keep investors away,” the interviewee continued. Global technology businesses looking to establish a presence in Africa are more likely to consider Ghana than Nigeria. He claims that the suspension of Twitter sends the incorrect message to international investors, and that small businesses in Nigeria that rely on Twitter for income will be impacted. “Nigerian businesses use digital media to connect with customers, promote their brands, and engage with other stakeholders. This unpredictable action will undoubtedly have an impact on that “AlJazeera spoke with Sesan. This essay examines the Nigerian Twitter ban as a democratic scandal against this backdrop.
Statement Of The Problem
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration announced the suspension of Twitter on June 5, 2021, two days after the social media corporation briefly suspended President Muhammadu Buhari’s account for breaking its “abusive” behavior code. After threatening punishment for regional secessionists implicated for attacks on government structures, Buhari’s account was suspended for 12 hours. This irrational decision has been labeled “unconstitutional” and “anti-democratic.” Following the government’s announcement that the tech giant’s operations in Nigeria will be suspended indefinitely, Nigerians took to Twitter to voice their amazement, fury, and sadness. The most heinous aspect of Nigeria’s Twitter ban isn’t that it was announced; it’s that “this government can’t understand the divisiveness and irresponsibility of that Buhari post, and the blatantness with which it is going about it.” (On June 4, 2021, Aljazeera mentions ‘Fisayo Soyombo.’) Clement Nwankwo, quoted in Aljazeera on June 4, 2021, said the Nigerian government’s suspension of Twitter, a tool of free expression and communication, is odd, unconstitutional, and a violation of human rights, and should be rectified immediately. The suspension is untenable and exposes Nigeria to national and international humiliation.
Regardless of the danger posed by this vexatious decision, the Nigerian attorney general’s office has ordered the immediate arrest of Nigerians who attempt to circumvent the government’s Twitter ban once it was suspended (Aljazeera news report).
Objective Of The Study
The primary goal of this research is to critically portray Nigeria’s rash decision to ban Twitter as a democratic scandal. The following are the precise goals:
- Determine whether Nigeria’s Twitter ban is legal.
- Determine whether the Twitter ban was implemented democratically.
- Determine whether allowing the general public access to social media is democratic.
An experimental statement that shows the relationship between two or more variables is referred to as a hypothesis. It can be tested and accepted or rejected based on whether or not it agrees or disagrees with the statistical test.
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
H01: Nigeria’s Twitter ban is not a human rights infringement.
H02: Allowing the general public access to social media is not democratic.
Significance Of The Study
The internal and external effects of the Nigerian government’s decision to restrict Twitter usage will be examined in this study. In light of this, the study will also inform/educate the government on how this execution would effect its inhabitants, as well as the need of conducting the country’s business democratically in order to safeguard the country’s international reputation. This research will also provide useful information to students, researchers, other academics, and the general public.
Scope Of The Study
This research will examine the qualities of a democratic society and compare the extraordinary implementation of the Twitter ban in Nigeria to the features of a democratic government. As a result, this study will sample the public opinions of Nigerian citizens living in Lagos State.
Limitation Of The Study
The following are some of the study’s limitations:
Finance: Due to the economic difficulties that many individuals, including researchers, are facing, a bigger sample size, which would have allowed the study to reach a larger territory, is no longer an option. Thus, this work will be limited to only Lagos State residences.
Time: It’s understandable that the researcher was constrained by the time restriction, as it posed a direct threat to the thorough coverage anticipated in this report. The researcher intends to interview all of the employees of the selected manufacturing enterprises, but due to the researcher’s multiple activities, which cross academics, work schedules, and other social activities, it has become difficult to explain the objective.
Respondent attitude: The majority of respondents did not collect the surveys, and those who did pay close attention to filling them out and returning them, while others did not return them at all. Others were less cooperative, and may have offered untrustworthy information out of fear of being exposed, despite the researcher’s assurances that all material would be kept in strict confidence and used solely for educational purposes.
Definition Of Study
Scandal: a morally or legally improper conduct or incident that causes widespread public outcry.
Democracy is a form of government in which the people have power and can exercise it directly or through freely elected representatives.
Social media is a computer-based technology that allows people to share their ideas, opinions, and information by creating virtual networks and communities.
Twitter: Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking website on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”.
How Nigeria’s Twitter ban would affect people and businesses: Ajazeera New https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/6/7/nigerian-twitter-ban-how-government-restriction-affects-people.
Nigerians on Twitter react to the country’s Twitter suspension: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/4/nigerian-twitter-users-blast-govt-ban-of-social-media-giant
A. Edwards, W. Housley, M. Williams, L. Sloan, and M. Williams (2013). Surrogacy, augmentation, and re-orientation in digital social research, social media, and the sociological imagination Methodology in Social Research: An International Journal
P. Gerbaudo (2012). Social media and modern activism: Tweets and the streets Pluto Press, London, England.
D. Trottier (2012). Surveillance via social media. Ashgate, Farnham, UK.