The study examined the impact of social media (Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Internet, E-mail, Google+, Twitter etc) on political promises especially during electoral activities such as electoral campaigns, voting etc, and how political promises delivered through social media influence people who access social networking. The study was also carried out to investigate whether social media help the politicians to achieve electoral victory than using mass media to make political vows. The researchers adopted survey research method to investigate opinions of people living in Enugu State metropolis whose population is 722,664. Out of which, 400 representatives were sampled out for an interview. Technological Determinism Theory is reviewed as the theoretical framework of the study as well as other empirical relevant literatures. The findings of the study show that the effect of social media on political promises is very positive and effective on both the politicians and the electorate; it also helps the politicians to gain electoral victory during or after electoral processes; and, that the world is rapidly adopting the platform as the best new channels of disseminating electoral promises to the society. The researchers, therefore, recommended that the use of social media for electoral process should be encouraged especially in Africa. The problems associated with the process of disseminating effective campaign promises should be addressed by the government in order to improve the less privileged in the society, who by nature of negligence, were thrown behind.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Approval Page ii
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Statement of Problems 6
1.3 Objectives of the study 7
1.4 Significance of the Study 8
1.5 Research Questions 8
1.6 Research Hypothesis 9
1.7 Theoretical Framework 10
1.8 Scope of the study 12
1.9 Limitation of the study 12
1.10 Definitions of the Terms 13
Chapter Two: Literature Review
2.1 Source of Literature 16
2.2 The Review 16
2.3 Summary of Literature 31
Chapter Three: Methodology
3.0 Research Method 34
3.1 Research Design 34
3.2 Area of Study 35
3.3 Research Population 35
3.4 Research Sample 36
3.5 Sample Technique 37
3.6 Instrument of Data Collection 38
3.7 Method of Data Collection 38
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 39
3.9 Expected Results 40
Chapter Four: Presentation and Interpretation Data
4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis 43
4.2 Testing of Hypothesis 49
4.3 Discussion of the Results 53
Chapter Five: Summary of Conclusion and Recommendation
5.1 Summary 56
5.2 Conclusion 57
5.3 Recommendations 56
1.1 Background of the Study
Social media refers to the “channels of communications or interactions amongst people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities through networks” wikipeadia.com. Ikalan and Haenlein (2010) described social media as “a group of internet based-application that build on the ideological and technological foundations of websites that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” It, however, depends on mobile and web based-technologies to create highly political, cultural, religious and social platforms through which individuals and communities share, create, discuss and modify user-generated contents. It also introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communications between organizations, communities and individuals.
The social media comprises such internal resource like the Facebook, Twitter, Google/ Google + E-mail, Whatsapp. Others are Badoo, Eskimi, Blog, Bulk Short Message Services (Bulk SMS), 2go, Website (personal or world-wide webs), etc Aneke (2011:28).
The dawn of instant, personal broadcasting through social media sites has opened up new possibilities for political outreach- such as political talks, promises, events, elections etc, are shared among social network users across the globe (Shear 2011). He argued that the present politicians have seized on the power of twitter and facebook to reach their teaming political supporters during electioneering campaigns and other political engagements. Shear, further advocated that Mr. Waine, the Democratic Congressman from New York, has been known as one of the most political social media users in congress through twitter. “His fingers dash off 140 characters to his 50,000-plus followers just as fast as he would find a microphone to deliver a quick report or a sharp edge critique of republicans,” he said.
The social media has become the most lucrative and fashionable means of delivering political promises to electorate in the United States of American. Socio Media Today (2008, August 27) posted that during the 2008 American Presidential Campaigns, all presidential aspirants amassed much chronicled list of hundreds of thousands of ‘‘friends” on MySpace and Facebook, and the Obama Campaign Team also invested in customized social network for supporters early on MyBarackObama.com, which was built to hundreds of thousands of electorate in the middle of 2007. The source further emphasized that data in the 2008 E-vote Institute of Study show that online social networks should be a fertile ground to deliver political promises to users of social media, and they are more likely to be political active than non social networking users, stressing that online electorate are more likely to donate to a candidate; more likely to join a political e-mail list; more likely to visit candidate’s site; more likely to click on a candidate’s page and, infact, more likely to vote the candidate in during the election.
Specifically, the trend towards relatively high levels of political promises and activities hold truck beyond just top social media enthusiasts; in most cases, average MySpace or Facebook users were closed in behavior to the power of social networkers than they were to the non-networked population. For whatever reason, online social media seem to attract a disproportionate number of political active people. This has to do with both the relatively young age of social media users in a year in which the darn kids are politically active as well as with the natural tendency of all social spaces to attract people who are in general directed outwards in the public sphere.
Social media sites, for years, have become the hottest political campaign tools to persuade electorate to vote candidates into power. As their usage becomes more wide spread among the publics at large, more and more voters will use these sites to engage with the political process.
Gareclit (2011), however, argued that while these pundits (politicians) were wrong about the internet ending fun raising direct mail, grassroots campaigns and huge amount of candidates’ prominence, they were right about one thing. The “internet did eventually change the way candidates campaign”. He asserted that Facebook was most evident in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, where candidates raised vast sum of money online, and had major web presence and online community voters than on TV, radio or newspapers. Gareclit further observed that the power of television portraying political pledges cannot be compared to that of social media, stressing that social media by nature is more interactive, intimacy, personal and emotional driven. ‘‘It is hard to get off a social networking site, even when you do not really like it. It is almost like an obsession” Awake Magazine (2012:7)
The only simplest platform for Nigerian politicians to dish out inconsistent promises during election campaign is through social media; and, this has been assimilated by millions of ignorant electorate who are influenced partly negative and partly positive by the well packaged dubious online manifestoes by the politicians. Alex (2013) while posting on internet observed that if the truths were good food, Nigerians would be all malnourished out of the routine political promises and lies by government leaders. ‘‘For me, all these false hopes and empty promises are extra bags that I am fed up of carrying. It has become the national anthem in Nigeria that our politicians sing without missing a line,” he said. Ondolimi (2012) in his “political Issues in Nigeria’’ inferred that President Jonathan during 2011 Presidential Campaign had dished out some promises unfulfilled via Jonathanonfacebook.com. According to him, the President had promised honest and transparent government, electoral reform and steady power supply and energy security. He said, ‘‘if I am elected president in 2011 presidential election, I will make a covenant with you the Nigerian people to always do right by you; fellow citizens in our communities and also those of you on this page.’’ He also vowed to bring terrorism under control and go after group that bombed UN building in Abuja (Associate Press, August 27, 2011). Despite the fact that Nigerians had in decades be socialized with face-to-face political manifestoes during election campaigns, the wake of social media in our contemporary society is gradually but consistently changing the old format of delivering political promises by Nigerian politicians. They have tremendously resorted to adopting social media as the best e-campaign strategy for voting processes. The influence of online political promises is the basis of this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
The task of ensuring democratic participation of people in the media, accessing information at most affordable; providing nascent political / electoral development, participating in voting; sending and receiving messages through information and communication technologies are the key responsibilities of social media in the society. Its role in sustaining effective political interaction cannot be over emphasized.
Therefore, the problems of this study are to understand both positive and negative effects of social media on political promises; to know the effect of political promises through social media on electorate /politicians and to investigate the extent to which people access political promises via social media. This study also tends to ascertain the level to which social media influence political manifestoes of politicians and the attitudes of the recipients during elections.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Objective of this study is to discover the impact of social media on the delivery of political manifestos in the society. Specifically, the following are the purposes of this study thus:
- To known the positive and negative effects of social media on the communication of political promises in the society.
- To know the extent to which social media influenced political promises designed by politicians on their electorate.
- To investigate the extent to which people utilize political promises through the social media.
- To ascertain how effective social media help to portray political promises in the society especially, during general elections.
- To study whether social media help politicians to achieve electoral victory during election campaigns.
- To observe the challenges or benefits in the communication process of sending and relieving political promises via social media.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Following the rapid advancement in the process of information dissemination, the use of social media to deliver political messages shall help to transform political space of democratic nations in the world. Both politicians and the electorate shall benefit from this study because it shall provide effective social political interactions, especially during national elections, national confabs etc.
This study shall also bring technological/ political development that would help pacify electoral restiveness in the world, especially in the third world countries like Nigeria where much cases of electoral violence is the political order of the study.
Politicians shall also benefit a lot because this study shall increase the psyche and philosophy of using social media to deliver political promises to their teaming electoral. This electorate is mostly youths who swim the pool of social media, seeking for information tireless overtime.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To achieve objectives of this study, suitable answers must be provided to the following questions below. These questions shall, however, help to proffer effective solution, the problem under study.
- Do social media help to deliver effective political promises to the people?
- Do political promises through social media influence the electorate
- Do political promises via, social media help politicians to achieve their political/ electoral mandates.
- Are there challenges of sending and receiving politicians promises via social media in the society?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Eze (2008:146) defined research hypothesis as “a set of proposition set forth as an explanation of occurrence of some specific group of phenomena either asserted merely as provisional conjecture to guide some investigation or accepted as highly probable in the high of established facts.” The following propositions shall help to investigation the problems of the study.
H0: Social media helps to deliver effective political promises to the people.
H1: Political promises through social media influence the electorate positively.
H0: Political promises through social media do not influence the electorate positively.
H2: Political promises through social media influence the electorate positively.
H0: Political promises via social media help politicians to achieve their electoral mandates.
H3: Political promises via social media do not help politicians to achieve their mandates.
H4: There are challenges of sending and receiving political promises through social media in the society.
H0: There are no challenges promises and receiving political promise through social media in the society.
1.7 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
This study is anchored on Technological Determinism Theory of media. This theory is molded by Marshall McLcuham in his work, ‘‘The Gutembery Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man” in 1962. According to him, Technological Determinism states that “media technology shapes how people as individuals in society think, feel, act and how are society operates from one technological age to another.” It is believed that all the effects of a technology can be deduced from its term (Littlejohn and Foss, 2009). In other words, our culture is molded by how we are able to communicate. To understand this, there are a few points one must comprehend. First, an innovation in communication technology causes cultural change (Baran 2004:22). Secondly, changes in modes of communication shape human life. Thirdly, ‘we shape out tools, and they in turn shape us’ (Mcluham and Powers 1989:54).
Most interpretations of technological determinism share two general ideas. That development of technology itself follows predictable, traceable path largely beyond cultural or political influence and that technology in turn has effects on society that are inherent, rather than been socially conditioned or produced because that society organize itself to support development of technology been introduced. Technological determinists interpret technology in general and communications technology particular as the basis of society in the past, present and even in the future. They say that technologies such as printers, computers, television, changed the society. In its most extreme form, “the entire form of society is seen as been determined by technology; new technologies transform society at every level, including institutions, social interaction and individuals” (Oyero and Jegede 2011:108).
The basic idea behind the theory is that changes in the way human communicate are what shape our existence. This theory tries to explain the fact that individuals have left the print age for the new era which has brought about the digital communication such as the social media. This modern technology has made communication of political promises so easier and this has brought a lot of innovation in the society.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research is to study the effects of social media in political promises, especially during electioneering processes. Also to discover the influence of social media related political vows on the social media users who are mostly the electorate.
1.9 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to some extent because of financial constraints encountered while sourcing for materials relevance for the study. Time factor is another problem the researcher grappled with.
Lack of availability of relevant materials for the study is another factor that hindered generation of data to some extent.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Impact: This can be defined as the effect, result, influence or attribute of an existing thing or things, which can be considered positive or negative.
- Social: This is the act of exhibiting collective, mutual and interdependent sharing of things or idea in common; the act of needing the company of others.
- Media: The media are the channels mass communication such as televisions, internets, radios, cameras; newspapers, magazines, books, posters; Facebook, Twitter, 2go, Badoo, Whatsapp, Myspace, Eskimi, Email, Mobile Apps etc. They are used to dissemination information to the wide range of people in the society.
- Politics / Political: The activities concerned with governing a country; the management and control of power, economy and human resources; of government or public affairs of a country.
- Promises: An assurance, usually, an utterance which shows that one is will to do something or that something will happen; to give good ground for future expectation.
- Impact: This can be positive, negative effects or influence/ result of social media (Facebook, Myspace, Internet etc) have on political promises in the society.
- Social: Of mutual sharing of information or idea; interdependent exchange of information such as political affairs through social media platform.
- Media: Channels of social communication such as the Facebook, Myspace, Internet, Whatsapp, 2go, Badoo , Google Plus, Estimi, Twitter etc, used to promote social political interactions among users.
- Political: This is activities connected to government such as political promises that are accessed through social media, during elections in the society.
- Promise: A well prepared speech of assurance made by the politicians to the voters during election or other political activities. Political promises help to gain the heart of the electorate to vote their candidates in during election.
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