THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN ELECTIONEERING CAMPAIGN, A STUDY OF 2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA
The arrival of social media has greatly enhanced human communication. This brings to reality the prediction of Marshall McLuhan in 1964 that the world would someday become a “global village” where what happens in one part of the world would be known instantly and simultaneously worldwide. The emergence of social media is perhaps the most prodigious among various platforms of communication made available by the advance in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The possibilities they have created in human communication and interaction are beyond bounds. By just pressing a button today, one can stay right in his bedroom and access information, entertainment, events and enjoy full interaction with the world.
In many parts of the world today, individuals, groups, organizations and even nations are taking advantage of the opportunities provided by social media and other e-media platforms to mobilize millions of people to support and advance their course. In the political sphere it has become a veritable tool for mobilizing citizens towards active participation in the political process and Democratic projects, hence, the use of social media in politics has experienced a tremendous growth. Since Barack Obama broke the world record in the history of social media use for political purpose during the 2008 US presidential elections, many nations and politicians across the globe have continued to embrace the platform to mobilize their citizens and candidates towards active participation in the political process.