Mobile social networking applications and the 2012 occupy Nigeria protest

Temple Uwalaka, Scott Rickard, Jerry Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies on the use of social media to facilitate participation in protest have examined established democracies or authoritarian regimes. Participation via social media in nascent democracies has been less well documented, e.g. in those countries that democratized between the 1970s and the 1990s, including those that recently returned to democracy from military dictatorship such as Nigeria. This study has been conducted to fill this gap. This study examines the impact of mobile social networking applications (SNA) in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest to further understand the use of mobile SNA for digital activism. A face-to-face, paper-based, purposive quantitative survey of student protestors was conducted. Survey results indicate that mobile SNA (WhatsApp, 2go, Eskimi, Facebook, Badoo and YouTube) were mostly used by student protesters to plan, coordinate and document their participation in the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest. Of the seven platforms analysed, Facebook was the most used for protest purposes while Eskimi increased the likelihood that a student attended the first day of the protest. This article argues that mobile SNA brought about interaction, socialization, collective and connective engagement that was needed to spur such socio-political movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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