Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nigeria: Elections Set New Records in Use of Social Media

Africa Renewal (United Nations)
19 September 2011


A report by two researchers who helped track online traffic during the month-long polls argues that the country's use of social media reached unprecedented levels.* "Nigeria set a new record for recent African elections in the number of reports tracked using social media," it says. In addition to the approximately 3 million registered Nigerians on Facebook and 60,000 on Twitter, almost every institution involved in Nigeria's elections conducted an aggressive social networking outreach, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, candidates, media houses, civil society groups and even the police.

The report notes that between 10 March and 16 April 2011, the electoral commission posted almost 4,000 tweets, many in response to voter queries. Using Twitter, commission officials at polling stations around the country also were able to communicate among themselves, and even confirmed the death of one of their members who had been attacked. "Twitter ultimately proved to be the most efficient way to interact with INEC," the document authors report. The commission's use of social media led to its website receiving a record 25 million hits in three days during the presidential election. "By using social media to inspire voters, the electoral commission has redefined elections in Nigeria," analyzed Punch, the country's most circulated newspaper...

No comments:

Post a Comment