Social media and politics in Nigeria: A conceptual framework


  • Chibuike Oparaugo Royallite Publishers


Social media, politics, democracy and election


This paper examines side by side social media and politics and the relationship between the two. Also worthy of examination in the article was social media and election and social media and democracy. This is because elections and democracy exist in a political space or environment, hence the relationship. The place of social media to rally political support is no longer in doubt. To advance the conversation and mobilize political supports, social media has become a critical political tool for campaign planners. The term social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Politicians create several social media accounts and handle in other to reach the electorates and to have a more direct contact with them, something the traditional media didn’t provide. Some of these social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc. The use of social media in elections appears to be gathering momentum that is altering the traditional practice of electioneering. This phenomenon is premised on the rapidly expanding access to internet, increased availability of internet ready smart phones and other communication devices, which enable individuals to simultaneously share information with any number of peers or even the public. Politicians have swerved from the use of the old media such as the print (newspapers) and the electronic media (television and radio), to the use of the new media during electioneering to actualize their political goals. In a modern democracy, social media can be used by governments to involve citizens in decision making, and make civil society to engage people in specific issues. Social media has transformed political communication in a number of ways, like segmentation of audience, weakening gate keeping capacity of traditional media, releasing most recent news and influences socio-economic and political settings. The study is anchored on two theories: the technological determinism theory and the uses and gratification theory. Social media has great impact on the voting pattern of the electorates, especially youths who constitute the largest proportion of social media users in Nigeria. We therefore, recommend that Nigeria’s political leaders and future aspirants should desist from using the social media to spread false stories, hate speeches, caricature figures etc. on other candidates that will destroy their public image. Rather, they should portray what they have to offer to the masses.



Download data is not yet available.


Abonyi, N. (2005). Political science: Fundamental approach. Enugu: John Jacob’s Classic.

Adesope, Y.R. & Ogan-Charles, G. (2015). Extent of social media usage by students for improved learning in Tertiary Institution. IOSR Journal of Mobile Computing & Application (IOSR-JMCA), 2(2). P.1-7

Agbo, B., Ojobor, J. & Ezinwa, C. (2010). Issues in development communication. Enugu. John Jacobs’ Publishers.

Akakwandu, C. (2016). Introduction to political communication. Benin: Izehi Printing Press.

Alakali T.T, Akpan, C.S. & Tarnongo, M.O. (2013). An assessment of the utilisation of social media mobilisation of Nigerian youths in 2011 general elections. A Case Study of Youths in Benue State. Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science, 6(5). Pp. 32-44.

Asemah, E.S., Okpanachi, R.A. & Edegoh, L.O.N. (2013). Influence of social media on the academic performance of the undergraduate students of Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(12). Pp 90-97

Auwal, A.M. (2018). Social media and hate speech: Analysis of comments on Biafra agitations, Arewa youths’ ultimatum and their implications on peaceful coexistence in Nigeria. MCC Journal, 2(1), Pp 54-74

Baruah, T.D. (2012). Effectiveness of social media as a tool of communication and its potential for technology enabled connections: A micro-level study. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 2(5). P.1-10

Carr, C. & Hayes, R. (2015). Social media: Defining, developing, and divining. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 23(1), 46–65.

Chiemela Q.A., Ovute, A.O., Obochi, C. I. The influence of the social media on the Nigerian youths: Aba residents experience. Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Science 3(3). Pp. 12-20.

Chinedu-Okeke, C. F. & Obi, I. (2016). Social media as a political platform in Nigeria: A focus on electorates in South-Eastern Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 21(11). Pp.6-22.

Croteau, D. & Hoynes, W. (2003). Media society: Industries, images and audiences ((third edition) ed.). Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press

Didiugwu, I.F., Ezugwu, M.I. & Ekwe, O.C. (2015). A discourse on the use of social media by journalists in Nigeria. Developing Country Studies, 5(18). Pp. 133-140

Ekeanyanwu, N.T. (2015). International communication. Ibadan: Stirling-Horden.

Ekwenchi, O. & Udenze, S. (2014). Youth and political apathy: Lessons from a social media platform. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 4(4). Pp. 1-8

Ekwueme, M. & Folarin, S. (2017). Role of social media in electioneering: The case of the Nigerian 2015 presidential election. Covenant University Conference on e-Governance in Nigeria, Pp299-311

Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Understanding social media. London: SAGE.

Mamman, Y. (2019). The influence of social media on political culture in Nigeria: A political perception of state assembly members from 2015 elections to date. The Beam: Journal Arts and Sciences, 12(1). Pp. 66-70.

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding media: The extensions of man. [online] Available at: [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].

Obingene, A.U. & Okonkwo, W.C. (2008). Principles of government and politics in Nigeria. Enugu: Zik Chuks Press.

Okoye, J.I & Oparaugo, B. (2019). An introductory text on political communication. Enugu: Enizol.

Yahaya, G. (2003). Development communication lesson from change and social engineering project. Ibadan: Corporate Graphics Limited.







How to Cite

Social media and politics in Nigeria: A conceptual framework. (2021). International Journal of Research and Scholarly Communication, 4(1).

Similar Articles

1-10 of 19

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.