EFFECT OF TWITTER BAN ON HUMANITARIAN SERVICE AND SOCIAL SUPPORT
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Humanitarian aid is material and logistic assistance to people who need help. It is usually short-term help until the long-term help by the government and other institutions replaces it. Among the people in need are the homeless, refugees, and victims of natural disasters, wars, and famines. Humanitarian relief efforts are provided for humanitarian purposes and include natural disasters and man-made disasters. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity.
Humanitarian aid is seen as “a fundamental expression of the universal value of solidarity between people and a moral imperative”. Humanitarian aid can come from either local or international communities. In reaching out to international communities, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the United Nations (UN) is responsible for coordination responses to emergencies. It taps to the various members of Inter-Agency Standing Committee, whose members are responsible for providing emergency relief. The four UN entities that have primary roles in delivering humanitarian aid are United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP).(wikipedia.org)
However, The social media explosion of the last decade has had remarkable effects on many aspects of everyday life especially by hastening the way crisis displaced person recieves humanitaria aid and social support. Just as humanitarian crises became “closer to home” with the advent of hashtags and trends on social networking sites, social media has once again cut down the space between crisis victims and humanitarian organizations thus facilitating potential help and immediate humanitarian response to those who are affected by crisis.
Like other social networking site, twitter is not left aside in providing quick information during crisis. According to Sid Johann (2018) , Twitter is the third most popular social networking site in the world and has over 175 million registered users. The information network connects users to a vast amount of information and allows individuals to connect with other users, organizations and the media through 140 character ‘tweets’ or by uploading photos and other media (Twitter, 2011).Thus considering the effectiveness of twitter, researchers are proned to worry on the recent twitter ban in Nigeria as declared by the federal government on 5th June, 2021.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent years the role of humanitarian institutions has seen a considerable expansion with the assailance of more humanitarian crises. All nations are threatened by the inevitability of disasters and thus seek to find better ways to prepare and recover from them, and part of that involves changing strategies that involve public participation in activities that can augment and sharpen the responses of crisis responders. Utilizing social media to not only inform, but to organize public communities towards disaster resilience is a relatively new phenomenon that is causing many formal response organizations to question whether their traditional methods of responding to crises can last in a digitizing world. In times of crisis, information becomes the lifeblood of managing humanitarian operations and helps victim to receive quick support responsible organization. Example is the case of one Inibong Umoren who through went missing and through the hashtag (#findhinyumoren) posted by her friend on May 4th, 2021 was found even though dead but perpetrator of such crime was nabbed. Other cases include the earthquake in Haiti and political unrest in Iran and Kenya, highlighted how multifaceted social media can be in impacting humanitarian crises. Response to the Haitian earthquake was extremely strong, and information sharing and cooperation between NGOs and states helped reunite family members and allocate food aid to the areas with the greatest need.However, a ban in social networking site as twitter could prevent those trapped in crisis from receiving immediate social support and quick humanitarian aid. Thus is upon this premise that this study is set to examine the effect of twitter ban on humanitarian services and social support.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of twitter ban on humanitarian services and social support. Specifically the study will
- Examine the extent to which crisis victim received prompt response through twitter hashtags before the twitter ban in Nigeria.
- Investigate the extent to which social support was given to those in dare need through twitter post before the twitter ban in Nigeria.
- Examine if the current twitter ban in Nigeria will affect subsequently humanitarian activities of NGO’s and other social support organizations.
- To determine the nature of the effect twitter ban will have on crisis victims.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research is guided by the following research question
- What is the extent to which crisis victim received prompt response through twitter hashtags before the twitter ban in Nigeria?
- What is the extent to which social support was given to those in dare need through twitter post before the twitter ban in Nigeria?
- will the current twitter ban in Nigeria subsequently affect humanitarian activities of NGO’s and other social support organizations?
- What is the nature of the effect twitter ban will have on crisis victims?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Since this study portrays the nature of twitter ban effect on humanitarian activities and social support and also the significant roles played by these subject under study, it is therefore pivotal to note that the findings and theoretical aspect of this work will be relevant to the to Non Governmental organization, civil societies and philanthropic individuals. More so study will also be significantly useful to students and researchers and other individuals who may have the interest to gather or carryout any study related to the topic.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study borders on the effect of twitter ban humanitarian activities and social support. The study is therefore limited to a selected non governemental organization in Kaduna State.
- LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.;
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Twitter: Twitter is an American micro-blogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.
Twitter Ban: this is the authoritative pause in the operation of twitter as mandated by the Federal government of Nigeria on June 5th 2021 until the owners of the social network meet the newly established requirement given to them by the government of Nigeria.
Social Support: Social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and most popularly, that one is part of a supportive social network. These supportive resources can be emotional, informational, or companionship; tangible or intangible
Humanitarian aid: Humanitarian aid is material and logistic assistance to people who need help. It is usually short-term help until the long-term help by the government and other institutions replaces it.
CNN (2021) Nigeria bans Twitter after company deletes President Buhari’s tweet”. . Retrieved 5 June 2021.
Sid Johann Peruvemba, Malteser International (31 May 2018). “Why the nexus is dangerous”. D+C Development and Cooperation. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
Deliver Humanitarian Aid”. un.org. 7 December 2014. Archived from the original on 19 March 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
Washington Post. (2021) “Nigeria suspends Twitter after the social media platform freezes president’s account”. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 5 June 2021.