TWITTER BAN AS THREAT TO INFORMATION DISSEMINATION IN NIGERIA
Background of the study
Through the creation of virtual networks and communities, social media is a computer-based technology that enables the exchange of ideas, opinions, and information. Social media is Internet-based by design, allowing people to share information quickly through electronic means. Personal information, documents, movies, and pictures are all included in the content. Users interact with social media through web-based software or apps on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Social media began as a means to connect with friends and family, but it was quickly embraced by companies looking to reach out to consumers through a popular new communication channel. The capacity to connect and exchange information with anybody on the planet, or with a large number of people at once, is the power of social media. There are about 3.8 billion social media users worldwide. New social media applications like TikTok and Clubhouse appear every year, joining the ranks of major social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. The number of people using social media in the United States is expected to reach 257 million by 2023.
Users of social media are, on average, younger, according to the Pew Research Center. Between the ages of 18 and 29, almost 90% of individuals utilized some kind of social media. Furthermore, these consumers are more educated and affluent, with an annual income of over $75,000.
The way we all communicate with one another online has altered as a result of social media. It’s given us the capacity to learn about what’s going on in the world in real time, to connect with one another and keep in contact with long-distance pals, and to have instant access to an infinite quantity of knowledge. In many ways, social media has made the globe appear more accessible by allowing people to discover common ground with others online. According to a Pew Research Center study, using social media is linked to having more friends and a more diversified personal network, particularly in developing countries.Friendships may begin electronically for many adolescents, with 57 percent of adolescents having met a buddy online. Businesses are also utilizing social media marketing to target their customers directly on their phones and computers, develop a following, and develop a culture around their own brand. Denny’s, for example, has developed whole Twitter identities in order to appeal to younger customers using their own language and personalities.Buzan and Hansen (2009: 11–12) referred to four key questions that structure international security studies (ISS), focusing on the state as the key referent object, on including internal and external threats that have been increasingly blurred by globalization, on expanding beyond the military dimension and the use of force and its close link to “a dynasty,” and on the widening beyond the military dimension and the use of force and its close link to “a dynasty,” two decades after the end of the While the majority of ISS focused on external threats during the Cold War, “ethnic conflict and civil wars came to the fore, as did questions of domestic stability and cohesion (Posen 1993; Van Evera 1994; Kaufmann 1996)” (Buzan/ Hansen 2009: 29), which were discussed in the Copenhagen School’s concept of ‘societal security’ (Wver/Buzan/Kelstrup/Lemaitre 2003; Buzan/Wve 2003). After 1990, the threat paradigm as a foundation for military planning and legitimizing military programs has radically altered – at least among many NATO nations. With the expansion of the security concept from traditional military and diplomatic security to new economic, societal, and environmental dimensions, the threat concept has expanded and been applied to a variety of new threats, not only to the ‘state,’ but also to other referents of new security concepts, ranging from humans to global security. Early proponents of environmental security shifted the focus of “threats” away from the military and onto the environment. A national security threat, according to Ullman (1983: 133), is “an action or sequence of events that: 1) threatens to degrade the quality of life for the inhabitants of a state dramatically and over a relatively short period of time; or 2) threatens to significantly narrow the range of policy options available to the government of a state or to private non-governmental entities (persons, groups, corporations)”. Population expansion, resource scarcity, and environmental deterioration were among the new security concerns identified by Mathews (1989) and Myers (1989, 1989a). The Brundtland Commission (1987) also mentioned two major dangers to humanity: “The first is the danger of nuclear war.” The second is global environmental devastation.” “The connection between man and the environment has become menacing,” President Gorbachev said in 1988. “The danger from the sky is no longer missiles, but global warming.” Brundtland (1993: 189–194) identified new “threats” to security as “social unrest driven by poverty and inequality, environmental deterioration, and internal conflicts leading to fresh refugee flows.” “Environmental pressures from a fast expanding global population will enhance the probability of such conflicts,” she said. Climate change, desertification, deforestation, enormous extinction of species and biological diversity, depletion of freshwater supplies, and soil erosion are all unsustainable global trends.” She saw “threats to the world’s atmosphere” as the most significant. Senator Al Gore mentioned numerous environmental concerns, such as global warming and ozone depletion, from a local (tactical) to a global (strategic) level in 1992. Eilen Claussen described global environmental risks as those that are “human-caused and have, or may be anticipated to have, significant economic, health, environmental, or quality-of-life consequences for the United States” in 1997. Regardless of whether or not this idea can be applied to environmental issues, this author suggests limiting the threat idea to hardware-related military concerns and referring to environmental threats as “environmental security challenges, vulnerabilities, and hazards” (Brauch 2005a, 2008a). However, this proposal could not be seen in political reality, such as in the US national security policy documents (see chap. 12 by Brauch below). Several countries responded to the fundamental shift in the nature of threats with an expanded security concept that included many new non-military soft security threats such as economic vulnerabilities, environmental challenges, political and societal instabilities (e.g. German Defence White Paper; BMVg 1994: 25–26), pointing to a growing number of new non-military soft security threats. “Risk assessments of future developments must be based on a wide notion of security,” according to an official German paper. They must consider social, economic, and environmental developments in connection to Germany’s and its allies’ security.” Several national security policy documents from the Clinton administration in the United States have pointed to a fundamental shift in security threats (Matthew/Mc Donald 2009). “To shift the basis of defense planning from a ‘threatbased’ model that has dominated thinking in the past to a ‘capabilities-based’ model in the future [that]… focuses more on how an adversary might fight rather than specifically who the adversary might be or where a war might occu,” the Bush administration announced in its Quadrennial Defense Review Report (QDR) on September 30, 2001. (Brauch 2003b, Brauch chap. 12).
Statement of research problem
The news of Nigeria’s Twitter ban dominated discussions over the weekend, and rightfully so. Nigerians use Twitter not only for social networking, but also for alerting security authorities to instances of insecurity, particularly with increasing instances of armed banditry and herdsmen assaults in different areas of the nation, as a result of inadequate emergency services. It’s also been utilized to promote fundraising and attract leaders’ and people’ attention to critical national problems on numerous occasions. Last year, Emmanuel Dan-Awoh, SEO Analyst at Nairametrics, stated of Twitter’s effect on news reporting in Nigeria, “Twitter is by far the most valuable social media network for Nairametrics, accounting for more than 90% of page views and visits.” He went on to say that Twitter was only used by 21% of Nigeria’s 82 million internet users. With 55.94 percent, Facebook took the lead, followed by Instagram and YouTube with 5.02 percent and 3.72 percent, respectively. The exclusive report also revealed that Twitter was not only the primary means of receiving and filtering news, but that it also provided additional benefits to the Nigerian government, stating that “official communication still leans more toward traditional media, but the use of social media by government agencies is growing while the use of traditional media is stagnating.” Although Facebook has more Nigerians than Twitter, the latter’s open app characteristics make it simpler for the government to engage and connect with people, as well as for people to disseminate information quickly and refute false news. With the country’s heightened insecurity, the government’s decision to eliminate a vital instrument for distributing emergency information and connecting with people is counterproductive.
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