Military Social Media use and Conflict Communication in Nigeria

Temple Uwalaka, Bigman Nwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contemporary war and conflict research have often centred on media
representation and the relationship between the media and military actors.
While this provides insights into the dynamics of contemporary war and
conflict, these approaches to mediatised war and conflict fail to engage with
how social media enables militaries to communicate directly to their target
audience by circumventing legacy media. Consequently, this paper interrogates
the military use of social media for national security communication. The
discourse creates a research trajectory on Nigeria by investigating the themes
from the Nigerian Military social media posts regarding their involvement and
progress in the conflicts in Northern Nigeria. Using qualitative content analysis
technique, this paper analysed 10,750 posts, comments, and tweets from the
Defence Headquarters Nigeria (@DefenceinforNG) Facebook and Twitter
pages. Findings showed that social media play a significant role on how the
Nigerian Military communicates their involvement and progress in the conflicts
in Northern Nigeria. Data further showed that the Nigerian military social
media pages are used for deterrence and demoralisation of the insurgents as
well as trust building with the Nigerian public. It was, therefore, recommended,
among others, that Nigerian military increase their social media use in conflict
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-73
Number of pages16
JournalThe Nigerian Journal of Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


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