1.1 Background of the study
In this day and age, social media has made knowledge sharing simple and painless. Furthermore, in Nigeria and across the world, it is quickly becoming a household medium of both interpersonal and public contact. Social media has become an integral part of human life as it allows for the production of content from a distance, keeping users amused and updated. With the introduction of social media, exchanging information has become simpler and quicker, and many people today choose to rely heavily on information found on social media. One of the most common characteristics of social media is the ability to share content. The year 2020 heralded a very difficult time due to the outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19), which its first case was confirmed in Nigeria on February 28, 2020. Since then, there has been observed increased in the exploitation of various social media platforms to share information about the disease. In Nigeria, the dissemination of fake news has caused needless panic, terror, distraction, and stress, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. False information exacerbates humanity's problems. Within weeks of the virus's arrival in China, false rumour and conspiracy theories about its origin circulated around the world, along with stress and shock. The proliferation of information, including fake information, has been connected to the social media infrastructure of the twenty-first century, which includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chats, Instagram, and WhatsApp. key applications that could flourish during the pandemic. The spread of misinformation and rumour that are often interpreted as reality by anxious people looking for a sense of security is made possible by social media's unparalleled dominance and power around the world. People want to overcome their fears and anxieties about recent affairs or facts through phone calls and social media in order to help grasp the situation during times of crisis. The challenge of misinformation and disinformation is exacerbated by the virus's ever changing existence of discoveries: from a respiratory disease to a much wider range of health issues, from masks only for health care professionals to a necessary provision for everyone, from not airborne to now possibly airborne. information
and news are being spread to enlighten and keep people abreast of the latest about the disease. However, it was observed that many people share fake information and news which are inaccurate and unverifiable. Much of the time, determining the origins of content posted on social media is complicated since most information shared on social media does not have a connection to the original source. In this pandemic crisis, it has gotten to the threshold of notoriety. It is normal to give opinions on social media or join the conversation on COVID-19 pandemic disease. However, it is disastrous to share information, which posits inaccuracy, misinformation and unverifiable. Social media feeds have a glut of COVID-19 posts from all sorts of sources, which have been confirmed to be inaccurate, misinformation and fake. This kind of information does not only confuse but also leads to fear among the populace.
1.2 Statement of the problem
False information has been found undermining the efforts of numerous government and health agencies/bodies engaged in the fight against the heinous virus. The propagation of disinformation leads to increased stress levels as well as social media addiction. This can lead to mood swings, tolerance, withdrawal, and interpersonal problems in their personal lives. Social networking has an effect on a person's mental condition which can lead to perceptual, behavioral, and emotional preoccupation. The series of misinformation being spread has also led to depression, anxiety, fear, and pervasive worry. COVID-19 misinformation, lead to mental morbidity and can also generate health anxiety. Furthermore, the misinformation effect is linked to buying and using medications without a prescription from a medical professional.
1.3 Objective of the study
The following are primary objectives of the study
1. To assess the psychological effect of illegitimate information on covid 19 on social media users
2. To examine the impact of social media misinformation on its users
1.4 Research questions
1. What are the psychological effect of illegitimate information on covid 19 on social media users?
2. What are the impact of social media misinformation on its users?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study will be of significance to the general public. Mostly, social media users as it will create awareness for them not to fall prey to social media misinformation. This study will also serve as a benchmark to researcher who may desire to carry out furter research on this study
1.6 Scope of the study
The idea of this research is to assess the psychological effects of illegitimate covid 19 information on social media users using residents of Lagos state as sample respondent
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
Psychological: Psychological means mental or emotional rather than physical
Social media user: A social media users is a person who engage with social media via a computer, tablet, or smartphone via web-based software or applications.
Illegitimate: The state of not being in accordance with accepted standards or rules;
1. Zapan, B. Sajib, B. Salma, A.(2020) Effects of misinformation on COVID-19 individual responses and recommendations for resilience of disastrous consequences of misinformation
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