1.0 Background of the study
Over time, social media has developed into an active technical tool as well as a news and networking platform for Nigerian people. Access to mobile telephony, especially among technologically savvy youths, has made information transmission as simple as snapping a finger. As the pandemic spreads and emasculates global operations, social media platforms have become increasingly important. In recent times, as the pandemic encroaches on and emasculates world activities, social media platforms have been utilized as an information outlet to citizens. Its significance has gained more recognition owing especially to the fact that the government implemented a lockdown policy to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Thus, it has become an active tool for engagement and communication for the dissemination of plausible information.
Social Media is an offshoot of the Internet and according to DiMaggio et al. (2001), the Internet refers to the electronic network or networks that link(s) people and information through computers and other digital devices; thereby allowing for person-to-person communication and information retrieval. The Internet is a major tool that emerged for the purpose of information dissemination; thus, the media acts as an information hegemony in terms of determining what information is made available to people as well as the impression people have on issues (Savrum & Leon, 2015). Largely, Social Media is the collection of websites and web-based systems that allow for mass interaction, conversation and sharing among members of a network (Murphy, 2013). Its power lies in live pictures conveyed by video recording of events as it unfolds. The international livestreaming of events is capable of mobilizing a huge population of citizenry for positive or negative end.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease causes respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory difficulties. It originated from the Hunan seafood market at Wuhan, China where live bats, snakes, raccoon dogs, wild animals among others were sold in December 2019 (Shereen et al., 2020, pp. 91–98) and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 (WHO, 2020).
Noticeably, Nigeria is tried to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19 through immediate lockdown of all sectors.The achievement of these feats can be attributed not just to proper healthcare facilities but also to the impacts of social media in the country. Its platforms: WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become varying means of communication and engagement by not just the government but by the general populace. Contrarily, social media is also utilized as a means of propaganda in disclosing news and information, which at most are based on assumptions and speculations. On this note, this research intends to interrogate the use of social media as a tool for the good, the bad and the ugly.
1.2 Statement of the problem
In the face of the fears of the spread of the novel corona virus, social media is a critical tool for disseminating information to the general public. In the case of Nigeria, it is a double-edged sword because it helps people to access information without hindrance. This same method, however, has been used to mislead the public and disseminate unverifiable and misleading messages to people.social media platforms in regularly patronized by Nigerians include, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube. However content shared on theses platform can play either a negative role or positive role towards curbing or spreading the corona virus. Therefor it is against this backdrop that this study is set to investigate the role of social media platform in curbing the spread of Corona Virus.
1.3 Objective of the Study
This study is set to examine the role of social media in curbing the spread of Corona Virus. Specifically, the study seeks to determine the rate and how far at which social media platform have helped to curb the spread of covid-19 in Nigeria.
1.4 Significance of the study
This study would be relevant to the general public and also contribute to the body of knowledge. More.so it will be a wake up call for social media content developers to enhance their efficiency while developing creative contents in order to curb the spread of corona virus. It will also heighten the awareness of social media users on the need to discard fake and invalid information about corona virus and its mode of infection. The study will enable government and policy makers on the need to monitor content shared on social media platforms in order to avoid sharing panic related message to the reading public as this is detriment to their disposition and could make them loose confidence on the government efforts towards fighting the novel corona virus
1.5 Scope the study
This study seek to examine the role of social media ion curbing the spread of corona virus using Twitter and Facebook as a case study
1.6 Research Question
1. What are the ways social media platforms was used in curbing the spread of covid-19?
2. To what extent was social media platforms used to curb the spread of covid-19?
1.7 Limitation of Study
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
However in the midst above mentioned limitation the researcher devotedly ensured that the purpose of the study was actualized.
1.8 Definition of terms
Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation
Social Media : this is the collection of websites and web-based systems that allow for mass interaction, conversation and sharing among members of a network.Its power lies in live pictures conveyed by video recording of events as it unfolds.Example of social media include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Watsapp and others
Spread: the development or growth of something so that it covers a larger area or affects a larger number of people
Curb:this is the act or influence of limiting the occurrence of something.stopping the rate at which something happens
Covid-19:Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2.
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