INFLUENCE OF HATE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ON FACEBOOK AND VOTER’S PERCEPTION OF THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

This research examines the Influence of Political Campaign Hate Speech by Facebook Users on Voters’ Choice for the 2015 Presidential Candidate. The study was anchored on Source Credibility Theory and Technological Determinism Theory. The theory stated that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how society are operates as we move from one technological age to another (Tribal- Literate- Print- Electronic-Internet). Social media as an emerging tools for political mobilization, organisation, education and political interaction was used to the fullest for the first time in Nigeria politics. The main data collection instrument are questionnaire and interview. The research used qualitative and quantitative method (survey and indepth interview).400 copies of questionniares were administered to respondents that were purposively selected using frequency and percentage table method. It is obvious that many of the respondents come across hate speech online particularly on Facebook. Findings further that many of the hate speech that was trending on facebook at the time of 2015 electioneering campaign dominated by ethnicity and religion. Though, many of them frawn at hate speech in whatever forms. Similarly, many of the respondents did not post hate speech but click like on those post. They also share hate speech. The core factors responsible for hate speech on facebook according to the findings are political benefit, high freedom of speech, weak regulating body and lack of orientation on the part of politicians and electorate. It was submittd that social media will better Nigeria politics as it provide free place to express ideas, view and mobilize electorate. Also, electorate were not influenced by the hate speech. It is recommeded that political terrain of Nigeria demands lots of adjustment and formulation of law to guide against the abusive of social media in the future election. 

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