Book Chapter Review: Hate Speech and Nigeria’s Struggle for Democratic Consolidation: A Conceptual Review

Modu Alhaji Bukar, Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim


Disinformation and hate speech or dislike are not new to Nigerian polity. However, since the internet revolution in recent decades, 2015 is seen as the year Nigeria “finally woke up to the threat of disinformation and the way internet technologies are secretly and subtly used to undermine democracy” (White & Elliott, 2018, p.5). Since then, whenever national, state or local council elections approach, Nigeria experiences tense and difficult times – chaos, crises, conflicts, media propaganda, hate comments and false information climax thereby exposing the heightened political horse-trading, war against systemic and widespread corruption, debilitating poverty, weak institutions, threats of secession, etc. that are already nibbling at the country’s fragile peace and unity. Because of the revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) and the attendant ‘relative’ democratisation of access and participation, election times in Nigeria should ideally be the time for the free flow of genuine, verified political information and tolerance. However, like in many other African countries, it is during these times that Nigeria wrestles with the rise in ethnic politics, regionalism and smear campaign that often escalate to the extent of threatening the country’s political framework. Using a critical review of extant literature, this chapter provides further understanding on the impacts and processes of fake news and hate speech in Nigeria especially during political activities.

Keywords: Disinformation, Fake news, Hate speech, Nigerian democratic process

DOI: 10.7176/NMMC/87-01

Publication date: January 31st 2020

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