SOCIAL MEDIA AND COVID-19: IMPLICATION FORPREVENTION AND SPREAD OF INFORMATION IN NIGERIA

Patricia Awa TAIWO, Jude Monday IGWE

Abstract


The role of the social media in the prevention and spread of information about the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the entire globe has attracted scholarly attention. These avenues for communication in the face of the social distancing protocol had been quite helpful in maintaining the social relationships that existed among individuals in Nigeria. However, the lack of verification of information spread through the platforms on the social media, has led to increased misinformation which has adversely affected the psychological and mental wellbeing of individuals. While several scholarly works on COVID-19 had focussed on the effects of COVID-19 on the activities and development of diverse sectors of the society, very few have looked at the implication of the social media on the prevention and spread of information or misinformation about COVID-19 on the Nigerian citizen. The paper fills this gap by specifically discussing the role of social media in the prevention of COVID-19, its influence on the spread of information and its role in addressing misinformation spread through the social media platforms. It concludes that although social media was instrumental in the prevention of COVID-19 considering the fact that it filled the gap created by social distancing protocol on the relationships of Nigerians, it had adversely affected their health through the information and misinformation spread through various platforms despite their attempt to address it. Creation of avenues for scrutiny of information before they are published on the social media is recommended to avert the challenges.

 

 


Keywords


COVID-19, Prevention, Information Spread, Misinformation Social Media

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