In a Democratized Media Context What a Hoax Can Do, a Misinformation Can Do Even Worse: Influences of Fake News on Democratic Processes in Nigeria

Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim, Umaru A. Pate


With the rapid advancements in technology and the democratization of media topology in Nigeria, many people are increasingly gaining access to the media and becoming empowered to actively participate in public debate about issues affecting them in addition to having a great deal of online social interactions. However, people’s access to and interactions with technology and other media have given rise to a host of malicious effects – propagation of doubtful and fabricated content. This has been shown to have the potential to adversely influence people’s lives and sense of judgment, especially regarding democratic processes such as political campaigns during which many malicious fabricated contents are disseminated. In recent history, from 2016, election campaigns in various countries across the world have highlighted how fake news can be targeted at specific people or individuals to influence and misguide them, and even influence polls results. Ever since, issues surrounding fake news and its impacts on democratic and social settings have been gaining pervasive research attention. Hence, the urge to explore the concepts of misinformation and democracy from a Nigerian context through a review of extant literature. In conclusion, several propositions were made, and a conceptual framework was designed for future research to explore the concept and empirically proffer solutions to the growing menace.

Keywords: Fake news and misinformation, Media and politics, Media democratization, Nigerian democratic processes, Political campaign, Social media

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/79-02

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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