Please join us for our next N&MRC Seminar Series presented by Dr Temple Uwalaka.
Date: Thursday 4 November 2021
Location: Zoom (email email@example.com for link)
Dr Temple Uwalaka
Social Media and Fake News during a Global Pandemic: An Example of Covid-19 in Nigeria
This study investigates the impact of social media fake news headlines on how social media users view and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Using data from an online survey and contents from Twitter users in Nigeria from the hashtags: “#coronavirusNigeria” and “#covid19Nigeria”, this study reveals that social media users in Nigeria used social media platforms to inform and educate other netizens about the dangers of the pandemic as well as debunking disinformation regarding the virus and preventing purveyors of fake news and fake Covid-19 cures from misleading others.Findings further indicate that those who were apolitical, less educated and use Facebook and Television as main sources of news are statistically more likely to believe fake news and fake cures headlines about the virus than those who belong to a political party, educated, and use Twitter and newspapers as their main sources of news. Finally, this study offers theoretical and empirical background to frame the debate about the influence of fake news and fake Covid-19 cures on how Nigerians view and respond to the pandemic.
Dr Uwalaka is a research associate at the News and Media Researcher Center and lectures at the School of Arts and Communication, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Australia. His research interests include digital activism, digital journalism, brand activism and the use of online and mobile media to influence political change.