INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL CONTROL: A STUDY OF NIGERIA’S #ENDSARS

Ujene Ikem Godspower, Orji-Egwu Agatha Obiangeri

Abstract


Information communication technology (ICT) vis-à-vis the social media has proven to be efficacious both in the prevention of crime and the punishment of same since the inception of the digital age. Instances where it had been applied abound like in the Bahrain and North Korea. But a peculiar case where the social media is used to police the police i.e. the law enforcement agents is presented here where the #ENDSARS hash tag on Twitter availed the Nigerian youths the opportunity to recount the perceived atrocities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police, which range from brutality, sexual harassment, illegal arrests and detention to extra-judicial killings. It forced the authorities to first, reorganize the unit, order an investigation into the allegations raised so far and later ban the usual “stop and search” by members of the squad. Secondary data analyses with contents from the different Twitter handles were followed. The moral panic theory of Cohen was apt in the explanation of the scenario as the perceived ills of a particular section of the society was brought to bear and hyped by the media and thus, a reform. It recommended that roles should be played with the rule of law in mind.

KEYWORDS: #ENDSARS, information communication technology, social control, social media, Twitter


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e-ISSN : 2289-8115      ISSN : 1985-7012