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Date of this Version

Summer 7-13-2021

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Extract from Thesis.

Abstract

The paper reports the findings of a qualitative case study that tested the Dual process theory in the Nigerian social setting. It reports the findings of a dissertation that sought to understand the role that social media played in the generation and diffusion of information during the 2015 general elections in Nigeria. Nine (9) respondents were purposively sampled for the research and a content analysis of their social media pages was conducted. Inductive approach was employed in analyzing the data realized from the content analyzed pages from the respondents. The findings of the study showed that there was a higher use of social media during the 2015 general elections as compared to previous elections and was used to post offensive information about the candidates. Also, the study revealed that most people shared or were most likely to share what they believed to be true which had propaganda and high misinformation. People and friends on social media made sense of information received at face value and in most cases were not as interested in the message posted but where the person making the post was from. Social media was extensively used to propagate hate and divisive sentiments during the 2015 electioneering period in Nigeria. The study concluded that as social media continues to gain immense traction in terms of use in society, steps need to be taken to reduce the unending possibilities for misinformation, propaganda, and rumours which if misconstrued could lead to conflict situations.

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