Ozayr Patel from the conversation talks to DiA’s Nic Cheeseman about the role of social media in African politics, and in particular the impact of WhatsApp on the recent Nigerian elections.
WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. The messaging app is encrypted so it’s safer to share messages there than on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It also notorious for the spread of fake news. But it’s also used for good. In the run-up to Nigeria’s 2019 election, for instance, the platform was used to spread fake news – but it was also used for campaigning and communicating with potential voters.
In this episode of The Conversation’s popular podcast, Pasha, Nic Cheeseman, a professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham, explores WhatsApp and its role in Nigeria’s elections. He also discusses how governments should embrace technologies like WhatsApp, promoting digital literacy so people can be more discerning readers.
Is Whatsapp undermining democracy in Africa?
Photo by Gregade
A man casting his vote at a polling unit in Idiko-Ile during the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential Election in Nigeria. Shutterstock
“Happy African Village” by John Bartmann found on FreeMusicArchive.org licensed under CC0 1.
Ozayr Patel, Digital Editor, The Conversation
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
I agree that Whatsapp was a very strong campaign tool during the 2019 General elections, it was a medium of sharing a lot of propaganda, as well as fake news. Another social media tool as important as whatsapp is Twitter. Most people in Nigeria are active on twitter, and prefer viewing twitter trends to watching television news