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IMPACT OF TWITTER BAN ON CORRUPTION GROWTH IN NIGERIA

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IMPACT OF TWITTER BAN ON CORRUPTION GROWTH IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Corruption is a worldwide issue that has negative consequences for economic growth, political stability, and society integration (Hellman, Jones, Kaufmann, & Schankerman, 1999). Corruption is defined by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP, 2008) as the "misuse of entrusted authority for private benefit."

Twitter is an external aspect in battling corruption in contemporary cultures. They have the potential to be a system of checks and balances. Twitter, as a fourth estate, monitors adherence to democratic laws, ideals, and norms. However, unlike the three institutionalized authorities (legislative, executive, and judicial organizations), Twitter has no legal ways of sanctioning corrupt public officials' actions; as a result, they exercise public control in an indirect manner (Stapenhurst, 2000).

First, Twitter, as watchdogs, holds politicians responsible for their activities (Norris, 2004). As a result, Twitter may assist “prosecutorial institutions by researching and publishing instances of corruption” (Camaj, 2012), resulting in official investigations and convictions of corrupt political players. Independent and critical Twitter frequently execute their job as a regulatory body more efficiently than legislative, executive, and judicial organizations when institutionalized control authorities fall victim to corruption and are unable to properly impose punishments (Stapenhurst, 2000). Vertical accountability, which Schedler (1999) defines as a control mechanism between strong superior and less powerful inferior players, is aided by Twitter's exposure of corrupt public officials. For example, after public outrage over the Panama Papers disclosures, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Dav Gunnlaugsson, was compelled to resign. This incident demonstrates how Twitter may have an influence when citizens demand accountability from elected officials. Because public indignation jeopardizes elected leaders' reputations, Twitter is more likely to influence private-to-public corruption. Private-sector actors, on the other hand, are significantly less reliant on public favor, and hence private-to-private corruption is less likely to be influenced by negative Twitter coverage (Argandoa, 2003).

Second, Twitter strengthens checks and balances between actors with equal authority (horizontal accountability; Camaj, 2012). Journalists may boost Twitter's efficacy in combating corruption by revealing faults in anticorruption authorities and calling for reform of these organizations (Stapenhurst, 2000). Furthermore, Twitter coverage of control mechanism proceedings strengthens the work and legitimacy of the state's anticorruption bodies, strengthening the political system's institutional design, which is considered "the ultimate determinant of corruption" (Lederman, Loayza, & Soares, 2005).

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The ban on twitter, which can be termed as a wrong choice by the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, has raised eyebrows amongst citizens of the country. Twitter, as one of the most popularly used forms of media in Nigeria for a variety of purposes can lead to individual’s indulging in different unscrupulous activities, such as finding other negative means to access the app, also, businesses of individuals are dependent on the advertisements they put out on this platform and as a result of this platform being banned, these individuals may result in other devious businesses in order to survive. Government may also see this as a means to perform some unscrupulous acts. Also, Twitter offers a civic platform for citizens to air grievances and help shape public opinion. Twitter may build public pressure to compel corrupt politicians to quit and lose political power by "highlighting policy failures, maladministration by public officials, corruption in the courts, and scandals in the business sector" (Norris, 2004). These naming and shaming efforts may have an impact on a corrupt actor's reputation as well as encourage law compliance (Fisman & Miguel, 2008). By disseminating knowledge about corruption, Twitter helps to foster a culture of openness in society, which reduces corruption on both a structural and individual level (Kolstad & Wiig, 2009). Transparency, on the other hand, is inadequate in reducing corruption.

This study seeks to determine the impact of the twitter ban on the growth of corruption in Nigeria.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The primary aim of this research is to determine the impact of the twitter ban on the growth of corruption in Nigeria. Thus, the following objectives;

1. To determine the role Twitter plays in a country like Nigeria.

2. To determine the effects of this ban on individuals and organizations.

3. To determine whether this ban has led to the rise of corruption in Nigeria.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions guide this research;

1. What role does twitter play in a country like Nigeria?

2. What are the effects of this ban on individuals and organizations?

3. Has this ban led to the rise of corruption in Nigeria?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will be significant, as it will bring to fore the importance of Twitter, not just to individuals but also organizations and even the government in passing across vital information to the masses. It will also be an addition to the academic world as it will provide material for other scholars who want to delve into research on this same subject matter or broaden the scope of this study.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study will only cover the impact of the twitter ban on corruption growth in Nigeria. The only social media platform that will be covered is Twitter.

1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The only limitation faced by the researcher in carrying out this research was insufficient time.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

1. BAN: A ban is an official or legal prohibition of a particular thing or action. In this study, a ban refers to the official prohibition of Twitter.

2. CORRUPTION: Simply refers to a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by individuals or the government, typically involving bribery or other forms of unscrupulous acts.

3. TWITTER: A social media platform for the purpose of communicating to a recipient or target audience.

REFERENCES

Argandoña, A. (2003). Private-to-private corruption. Journal of Business Ethics, 47, 253–267. doi:10.1023/A:1026266219609 

Camaj, L. (2012). The media’s role in fighting corruption: Media effects on governmental accountability. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 18(1), 21–42. doi:10.1177/1940161212462741

Fisman, R., & Miguel, E. (2008) Economic gangsters: Corruption, violence and the poverty of nations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Hellman, J. S., Jones, G., Kaufmann, D., & Schankerman, M. (1999). Measuring governance, corruption, and state capture: How firms and bureaucrats shape the business environment in transition economies. World Bank Policy Working Paper. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Kolstad, I., & Wiig, A. (2009). Is transparency the key to reducing corruption in resource-rich countries? World Development, 37(3), 521–532. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.07.002

Lederman, D., Loayza, N. V., & Soares, R. R. (2005). Accountability and corruption: Political institutions matter. Economics & Politics, 17(1), 1–35. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0343.2005.00145.x

Norris, P. (2004). Global political communication. Good governance, human development and mass communication. In F. Esser & B. Pfetsch (Eds.), Comparing political communication: Theories, cases and challenges (pp. 115–150). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Schedler, A. (1999). Conceptualizing accountability. In A. Schedler, L. Diamond, & M. F. Plantter (Eds.), The self-restraining state (pp. 13–28). Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner.

Stapenhurst, R. (2000). The media’s role in curbing corruption. Washington, DC: World Bank Institute.

United Nations Development Programme. (2008). Tackling corruption, transforming lives: Accelerating human development in Asia and the Pacific. New Delhi, India: Macmillan.


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