THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN CURBING THE SPREAD OF EBOLA VIRUS IN NIGERIA

RESEARCH PROBLEM

This research is concerned with the role of social in curbing the spread of Ebola virus a case study of Facebook.

Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 and since then 2,265 reported cases of Ebola fever in humans around the world of these victims, 1,531 resulted in death killed. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC, 2012). In Nigeria, 56 cases have been reported of which 6 has been killed by the disease.

It is against this background the researcher is willing to examine the attitude of social media users towards the awareness of Ebola virus on facebook and social media.

Faceback.com according to Alexa website ranking on 4th, January 2014 was regarded as the most visited website with statistic of 900,000,000 per month followed by google.com, while Twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited websites worldwide by Alexa’s Web Traffic Analysis.

It is recorded that at least 5 million and seven hundred and fifty thousand Nigerians are on facebook with a good number of them being young or students. (facebook statistics, 2014).

Therefore, the major problem is that facebook users post, comment, sharing information on Ebola virus which they know little or nothing about the credibility of its source as to add salt to bathwater which also killed some hypertensive patients in Borno state.

Social media users no little or nothing about the rule or law guiding post, comment, sharing information and so on.

Another problem is that many of the users on social media expressed their opinion with little or no proper editing of the contents they are sharing.

The source of major information, idea, concept being discussed through social media lack credibility and authority.

Opinion and attitudes are only formed based on the information posted on social networking sites since there is not an established gatekeepers unlike traditional mass media where the reporters, proofreaders and editors make corrections and filter before disseminated to the citizen, as citizens are now part of information gathering and dissemination.

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