FAR-LeaF FELLOW PRESENTS AT ACSUS-UP VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

FAR-LeaF fellow Dr Hauwa Mohammed Sani of the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria participated in a panel discussion and presented a paper at a virtual conference presented by the African Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of Pretoria (ACSUS-UP) in June.

This was ACSUS-UP’s first Annual Virtual Conference, titled Farooq Kperogi, the Digital Age and US-African Diaspora Diplomacy.

Dr Sani’s panel presentation on Netnographics was followed by a Question-and-Answer session. She said social media platforms are powerful tools to enhance public awareness and access to information. However, the spread of mis- and dis-information coincides with the growth of these platforms.

Her research aims to evaluate the differential misinformation/disinformation impact on the Northern Nigerian sociodemographic group’s behavioural patterns during the COVID-19 and Post-pandemic. The research, which is both qualitative and quantitative, relies on data from new online media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube.

Dr Sani discussed “A Netnographic Study of the Impact of Misinformation/disinformation on the Sociodemographic Group's Behavioural Patterns of the Northern Nigerians During the Post Covid-19 Pandemic”.

The data samples were analysed using Kozinets’ (1998) Netnoghraphic approach, which focuses on the interactions between members of online communities. Using this approach, the study examined text-based interactions from various groups on the identified social media platforms about Covid-19 and the post-pandemic.

Netnography is a form of qualitative research that seeks to understand the cultural experiences that encompass and are reflected in social media’s traces, practices, networks, and systems. These cultural experiences can be engaged with, communicated through, and reflected upon, forming the three fundamental elements of netnography: investigation, interaction, and immersion. This captures the focus of her study.

Social media platforms are powerful tools to enhance public awareness and access to information. However, the spread of mis- and dis-information coincides with the growth of these platforms.


The study found that the youths, who are the leaders and policymakers of tomorrow, are also the primary consumers and drivers of new social media products.

Article submitted by Hauwa Sani

 

The Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) is a fellowship programme, focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, to address the complex, inter-linked challenges of health, well-being, and environmental risks in Africa.