Date of this Version
This study attempts to investigate the effectiveness of social media utilisation for political dialogue in Nigeria. The work is anchored on Public Sphere Theory and a survey research method taken among 300 participants across the tertiary institutions in Taraba State in northeast Nigeria. The findings suggest that there is a high usage of social media, predominantly Facebook and Twitter for political discourse among Nigerians, yet, most of the discussion carried out on this platform lacks the substance of objectivity and it is filled with attacks, counterattacks and hate speeches showing religious, ethnic and political biases which indicates that instead of contributing to the political system of the country, social media in Nigeria has generally in the political sphere enhanced division and hatred among Nigerians. The findings also revealed that though political leaders reach citizens via social media and citizens are exposed to campaign messages from political leaders, the leaders rarely respond to citizens on social media. Hence, political social media in Nigeria has not created effective two-way communication between citizens and the political leadership. Thus, the study recommends that political leaders should not only use social media to talk to citizens, but they should also talk with citizens.