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Alternative Social Media as an Emerging Social Network: Exploring Alternative Social Media Awareness in Nigeria

  • Author / Creator
    Nwachukwu, Elizabeth O.
  • Commercial Social Media (CSM) platforms like Facebook and Twitter have facilitated online communities and user-generated content, but their dominance has resulted in unethical practices. These include surveillance capitalist business models that exploit user data and "black-box" algorithms that perpetuate hate speech. Despite these concerns, some users remain hesitant to switch to non-commercial social networking platforms due to a lack of awareness or fear of losing their online connections. Although there is a growing uptake of Alternative Social Media (ASM) in the Global North, there is limited research on the awareness and use of ASM in the Global South, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. This research explores existing literature on the adoption of ASM in sub-Saharan Africa, examines the presence of any Fediverse platform in the region, identifies the obstacles that impede their use in Nigeria, and suggests potential remedies to these challenges. I utilized a mixed methods approach that integrated techniques from the Grounded theory methodology and Kleine's choice framework. I collected data through a review of ASM literature, a global audit of Fediverse tracking websites, and semi-structured interviews with current Fediverse administrators in the Global North and potential Fediverse users in sub-Saharan Africa. The findings from this study indicate that there is no literature referring to ASM in sub-Saharan Africa and no known presence of ASM platforms in this region. Based on the input from key informants and scholars, the factors that impact the awareness and use of ASM in Nigeria are: inadequate promotion of Fediverse platforms on traditional media channels, poor user interface, network effects, lack of innovation, and limited access to funding. Study limitations are the small sample size and the challenge of accessing a larger pool of potential participants without travelling to the country.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-ey2p-ej26
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.