ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT

Abstract

The research is set out to analyse social media as tool for citizen participation in government. It is essential to carry our this study especially in this era as citizens are no longer passive audience rather an active audience who are part of information gathering unlike in the days of government media monopoly and hegemony. The research was anchored on Technological Determinism Theory and Social Media Networking Viral Model. Convenience sampling technique was adopted to select respondents in major strategic locations within Lagos state and 40 respondents were picked each from Oshodi, Ojota, Ikeja, Mushin/Ladipo and Yaba/Akoka making the sample size to be 200. The main data collection instrument for this research was questionnaire while the data analysed using frequency and percentage tables. Findings show that, the most commonly used social media among Nigerians is Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. Most of the respondents (46.9%) received, shared and participated in discussion about government activities and policies most of the time. Majority of the respondents learnt about their civic responsibility via socio-media. Also, comments and reactions from social media users does not influence government decision making It is recommended that social media should be used for constructive criticism and pass an informed judgement on government programmes and policies that are not favourable rather than using it for hate campaigns.

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