Critical Assessment Of The Use Of Social Media During Covid 19 Pandemic In Nigeria

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Critical Assessment Of The Use Of Social Media During Covid 19 Pandemic In Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

No event has ravaged the human race like the novel corona virus, consuming life and actively halting human activities since WWII. Corona virus is a respiratory infection that affects human breathing and can result in death if not treated properly. This novel virus spreads from person to person on a random basis, emerged in December 2019 as a result of China’s scientific incursion and has since swept the globe, causing considerable social and economic burden, as well as an increase in hospitalizations and deaths (Wu & McGoogan, 2020). The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the disease as a global disease that affects humanity and social lives, and has given it the codename COVID-19. Dryness is one of the disease’s signs, cough, fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath are all symptoms of the flu. it is defined as a pandemic that affects people of all ages, genders, countries, and regions. Surprisingly, it is not a death sentence unless the patient has an underlying illness such as diabetes, kidney failure, or hypertension, or if the patient fails to show up for treatment on time. The disease can be transmitted in three layers: index event, first touch, and population spread. The index case refers to when a person contracts the virus directly, while the first touch refers to when an individual or group of individuals has direct contact with the virus’s carrier. The term “population spread” now refers to a situation in which a group of people becomes infected as a result of clustering or body contact with an infected individual (s).

Since the first index case was registered in Nigeria on February 27, 2020, the government, organisations, institutions, and well-to-do people, like those in other parts of the world, have been working feverishly to contain the disease’s spread. To accomplish this, a variety of precautionary procedures are recommended, including social/physical distancing, coughing to elbow, hand washing (using running water and soap or an alcoholic-based hand sanitizer), sneezing on tissue papers and proper disposal of the paper, avoidance of handshaking and kissing, and self quarantine. In partnership with the National Centre for Disease Control, the Nigerian government (federal and state) has established isolation centers and special health facilities to handle the disease (NCDC). In accordance with international best practices, the government established a Presidential Task Force to track, solicit funds/support from private and corporate organizations, and work closely with the NCDC. The committee’s mandate includes informing people of steps being taken to prevent the epidemic from spreading further, as well as advising the federal government on the best course of action in terms of public health. While these efforts are ongoing, knowledge has been circulating at a breakneck speed through conventional and social media channels. According to Kapoor, Tamilmani, Rana, et al. (2017), social media refers to a variety of user-driven channels that promote the dissemination of persuasive content, the production of dialogue, and communication to a larger audience. The word “social media” refers to a modern type of media that is shared and participatory in nature, involving others in the production, organization, sharing, finding, and use of knowledge. WhatsApp, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, and Quora are only a few examples of social networking. because of its immediacy, it is an essential source of information exchange. The announcement of the first Coronavirus victim was made through various social media platforms and various websites. Since a good number of Nigerians have access to these platforms, it was easy to spread this information. Subsequently, Health Care Agencies such as the NCDC updated the masses on the number of cases that have are positive, fatal or have recovered in Nigeria through these social media platforms. This gave Nigerian citizens a better chance to be fully prepared for Covid-19; as opposed to the period of the Influenza pandemic in which there was limited news on the virus when it came to Nigeria. At the time of the Influenza, the colonial government of Nigeria was only able to curtail it in parts of Lagos by disinfecting houses; however, limitations in the spread of information prompted the faster spread of the disease to other parts of the country (Adebowale, 2020).

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In retrospect, social media has proven to be not just a medium for the distribution of news and knowledge, but also a way of spreading panic, fear, and misunderstanding among the public, despite the NCDC’s warnings not to engage in social media violence by spreading misinformation (NCDC, 2020). This is partially due to the fact that anybody can use social media, so unverified and false information can be spread without fear or favour. “The media have a freedom of choice, and individuals are free to choose which broadcast best serves their interest,” Savrum and Leon (2015) explain. They go on to say that the media exacerbates social problems by exacerbating negative perceptions of them. When social media is used in a derogatory way, however, the uninformed are easily duped into believing false facts, which can lead to chaos and uncertainty among the general public.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The following are the primary objective of the study

  1. To assess the use of social media during covid 19 pandemic in Nigeria
  2. To investigate the usefulness of the information circulated on social media platforms during the pandemic

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Was there a use of social media during covid 19 pandemic in Nigeria?
  2. Was the information circulated on social media platforms during the pandemic useful?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study will be of significant to the general public as it will serve as awareness on the usefulness of social media during turbulent will also be of significant to scholars and researchers who wants to carry out further research on the study

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The purpose of this research is to assess the use of social media during covid 19 pandemic in Nigeria. The resident of Lagos state will be sample respondent for the study

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Finance, time constraint and lack of research materials were the major challenges the researcher encountered during the course of this study

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Social Media:

Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

Covid 19:

A highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to spread from person to person through droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

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