International Journal of International Relations, Media and Mass Communication Studies (IJIRMMCS)

EA Journals

online newspapers

CyberHate on Facebook: Youths’ Reactions to Women and Children Online Reportage (Published)

Facebook has globally become a great news purveyor and one of the fastest-growing social media in recent times. Since its advent, Facebook users get gratified diversely as they interactively comment and participate in the virtual social network. Newspapers predominantly post social updates and incisive news reports on Facebook. The study examined the reactions of urban youths in selected cities in South Eastern Nigeria to selected women and children news reportage in two online newspapers in Nigeria: Punch Newspaper and The Sun Nigeria. Online content analysis and a survey of 249 purposively selected respondents were part of the methodology. The study explores the magnitude of cyberhate and whether there are gender-dependent differences in users’ attitude towards cyberhate. The study also centres on the users’ reactions to cyberhate comments on the stories in selected newspapers; and the factors propelling cyberhate on women and children on Facebook. Findings show that cyberhate incidences tilt toward ethnic relations, and there were some significant differences between male and female respondents as to what constitutes cyberhate in Nigeria. The study recommends that Nigerian media organizations and journalists should mobilize and empower the public through citizenship education to shun and confront hate speech and use of foul language online as part of their social responsibility.

Keywords: Facebook, cyberhate, online newspapers, women and children news; Nigeria

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