Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media

6162 Words Aug 8th, 2013 25 Pages
Tracking Social Media
The Social Media Tracking Centre and the 2011 Nigerian Elections

Shehu Musa

Yar’Adua Foundation

About the Authors
Dr. Judith Burdin Asuni is the Executive Director of Academic Associates PeaceWorks, a Nigerian NGO working in the fields of conflict management, peace and development and peace education. Dr. Asuni has researched and written extensively on conflicts in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta. AA PeaceWorks has established a social media team to engage Nigerian youth on their participation in building a better Nigeria. Mrs. Jacqueline Farris serves as Director General of the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation and is also responsible for development of the Foundation’s programmes which focus on public
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Reclaimnaija, based in the Community Life Project in Lagos, linked phone calls and SMS directly to INEC’s hotlines. Project Swift Count, funded by the National Democratic Institute, deployed observers in the field, connected via SMS to a nerve centre in Abuja, complete with 36 state monitors and 6 zonal coordinators. A group of mainly Abuja-based civil society organizations established a Civil Society Election Situation Room, which received reports from the field during the election process and relayed information to INEC, the Police Service Commission and Nigeria Police. INEC’s own Situation Room engaged civil society. The Police Service Commission, Nigeria Police and Civil Defence Corps set up hotlines for reporting problems, as did the National Security Advisor to monitor incidents of violence. Political parties and politicians also employed social media to varying degrees. Traditional media, such as Channels Television with its facebook, twitter and online broadcasting, and Daily Trust and 234Next featured online and paper editions as well as facebook and twitter feeds. Suddenly the internet and phone lines were abuzz with election related activities. But what impact would any of this have on the election process? Discussion among a

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small group of participants of the March 4 roundtable resulted in the idea of setting up an independent ad hoc centre to track the use and effect of social media.
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