1.1 Background of study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Objective of the Study
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Limitations of the Study
1.8 De-Limitations of the Study

2.1 Conceptual Review
2.2 Corona Virus Infectious Disease-2019(COVID-19)
2.3 Empirical Review
2.5 Policy Regarding Infectious Disease and Pandemic

3.1 Research Design
3.2 Sources of Data
3.3 Population and Sampling
3.4 Data Collection Tools and Technique
3.5 Data Collection Process
3.6 Data Processing and Analysis


5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendation

Social Media is an invaluable means of disseminating information to the citizenry; hence it is a powerful tool of propaganda. In lieu of the Nigerian situation, it acts as a two-edged sword as it allows citizens to be privy to information without impediments. However, this same tool has been used to misinform the populace and to circulate unverifiable and deceptive messages to citizens. Across two studies with more than 1,700 adults recruited online, we present evidence that people share false claims about COVID-19 partly because they simply fail to think sufficiently about whether or not the content is accurate when deciding what to share. In Study 1, participants were far worse at discerning between true and false content when deciding what they would share on social media relative to when they were asked directly about accuracy. Furthermore, greater cognitive reflection and science knowledge were associated with stronger discernment. In Study 2, we found that a simple accuracy reminder at the beginning of the study (i.e., judging the accuracy of a nonCOVID-19-related headline) nearly tripled the level of truth discernment in participants’ subsequent sharing intentions. Our results, which mirror those found previously for political fake news, suggest that nudging people to think about accuracy is a simple way to improve choices about what to share on social media.

1.2 Background of study
Over the years, social media has become an active technological tool in Nigeria; as well as a news and communication channel for the citizenry of Nigeria. Access to mobile telephony especially among the technologically savvy youths has made dissemination of information easy with a snap of the finger. In recent times, as the pandemic encroaches on and emasculates world activities, social media platforms have been utilized as an information outlet to citizens. Its significance has gained more recognition owing especially to the fact that the government implemented a lockdown policy to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Thus, it has become an active tool for engagement and communication for the dissemination of plausible information as well as incredulous (mis)information.

There is a growing body of literature on social media. A critical analysis shows change and continuity in communication and information technology. Let’s examine below some of the issues. Social Media is an offshoot of the Internet and according to DiMaggio et al. (2001, p. 307), the Internet refers to the electronic network or networks that link(s) people and information through computers and other digital devices; thereby allowing for person-to-person communication and information retrieval. The Internet is a major tool that emerged for the purpose of information dissemination; thus, the media acts as an information hegemon in terms of determining what information is made available to people as well as the impression people have on issues (Savrum & Leon, 2015). Largely, Social Media is the collection of websites and web-based systems that allow for mass interaction, conversation and sharing among members of a network (Murphy, 2013, p. 3). These diverse media outlets and communication networks played an important role in facilitating uprisings such as the Arab spring (AlSayyad & Guvenc, 2015, p. 2025). Its power lies in live pictures conveyed by video recording of events as it unfolds. The international livestreaming of events is capable of mobilizing a huge population of citizenry for positive or negative end. More so, it has played an important role in crippling dictatorial regimes. Unfortunately, these various outlets have been abused as unscrupulous people hide under its anonymity to defraud or relay false information. As the importance of social media is not lost on the general public for information engagement, its abuse in Nigeria especially during this emergency period is neither lost on any keen observer. Consequently, its advantages and disadvantages are highlighted in this study.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a substantial challenge to global human well-being. Not unlike other challenges (e.g., global warming), the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the actions of individual citizens and, therefore, the quality of the information to which people are exposed. Unfortunately, however, misinformation about COVID-19 has proliferated, including on social media (Frenkel, Alba, & Zhong, 2020; Russonello, 2020).

In the case of COVID-19, this misinformation comes in many forms—from conspiracy theories about the virus being created as a biological weapon in China to claims that coconut oil kills the virus. At its worst, misinformation of this sort may cause people to turn to ineffective (and potentially harmful) remedies, as well as to either overreact (e.g., by hoarding goods) or, more dangerously, underreact (e.g., by engaging in risky behavior and inadvertently spreading the virus). As a consequence, it is important to understand why people believe and share false (and true) information related to COVID19—and to develop interventions to increase the quality of information that people share online.

Here, we applied a cognitive-science lens to the problem of COVID-19 misinformation. In particular, we Corresponding Author:

Gordon Pennycook, University of Regina, Hill and Levene Schools of Business, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4S 0A2 tested whether previous findings from the domain of political fake news (fabricated news stories presented as if from legitimate sources; Lazer et al., 2018) extended to misinformation related to COVID-19. We did so by drawing on a recently proposed inattention-based account of misinformation sharing on social media (Pennycook et al., 2020). According to this account, people generally wish to avoid spreading misinformation and, in fact, are often able to tell truth from falsehood; however, they nonetheless share false and misleading content because the social media context focuses their attention on factors other than accuracy (e.g., partisan alignment). As a result, they get distracted from even considering accuracy when deciding whether to share news—leading them to not implement their preference for accuracy and instead share misleading content. In support of this inattention-based account, recent findings (Pennycook et al., 2020) showed that most participants were surprisingly good at discerning between true and false political news when asked to assess “the accuracy of headlines”—yet headline veracity had very little impact on participants’ willingness to share the headlines on social media. Accordingly, subtle nudges that made the concept of accuracy salient increased the veracity of subsequently shared political content—both in survey experiments and in a large field experiment on Twitter.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Misinformation can amplify humanity’s challenges. A salient example is the COVID-19 pandemic. The environment created by the pandemic has bred a multitude of falsehoods even as truth has become a matter of life and death. In this research, we investigated why people believe and spread false (and true) news content about COVID-19. We found that people often fail to consider the accuracy of content when deciding what to share and that people who are more intuitive or less knowledgeable about science are more likely to believe and share falsehoods. We also tested an intervention to increase the truthfulness of the content shared on social media. Simply prompting people to think about the accuracy of an unrelated headline improved subsequent choices about what COVID-19 news to share. Accuracy nudges are straightforward for social media platforms to implement on top of the other approaches they are currently employing. With further optimization, interventions focused on increasing the salience of accuracy on social media could have a positive impact on countering the tide of misinformation.

News creation and consumption have come in different ways since the advent of social media. The widespread of the COVID-19 resulted in a tsunami of social media (Mourad, 2020).

The need for the study arises as concerned authorities like WHO, government offices, doctors, health professionals, the general public, learners, students, and academicians are using social media during the COVID-19 pandemic for multiple reasons. People in social media are doing many things concerned with the COVID-19 pandemic; people are expressing their opinions and sentiments; people are participating in a virtual debate that might have both positive and negative implications in the society especially for the management of the crisis.

Bastani & Bahrami (2020) found in the web-2 era, much of this misinformation is disseminated via social media where information could spread easily. An amount of potentially dangerous misinformation has been generated about the COVID-19 pandemic; which has been communicated via social networks. This misinformation comprises of different aspects of the epidemic, which is capable of threatening public safety, which further worsens the situation. This false and misleading news about COVID-19 is transferred faster than the virus, and it seems that people are fighting with two aspects of crisis e.g. virus and the associated misinformation with it simultaneously. The use of social media in risk communication about the global H1N1 flu epidemics showed that for the dissemination of risk messages and public participation of risk communication and management process different institutions and cultures can make use of social media (Ding & Zhang, 2010). Above mentioned studies have contradictory findings. Bastani & Bahrami (2020) argue as social media has been a major source of misinformation which has put public health at risk; however, Ding & Zhang (2010) argue as social media can be used for the dissemination of information in order to minimize risk and management of crisis at the time of the pandemic.

1.3 Research Questions
1. What role social media are playing in raising awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic in society?

2. what is the level of fake news spread on social media?

3. What is the impact of social media on the campaign against fake news on Corona Virus?

1.4 Objective of the Study
1. To explore the roles of social media in raising awareness in COVID-19 in society.
2. To determine the level of fake news spread on social media?
3. To determine the impact of social media on the campaign against fake news on Corona Virus?

1.5 Significance of the Study
This research looked at the role of social media in society during the pandemic. It explores the both positive and negative implications of social media.

It will thus make us aware of the rational utilization of social media. This study supplies abundant information on the role of social media in raising awareness and achieving collective action. This study will be helpful in formulating plans and policies on social media regarding their use and misuse during pandemics and other critical times in society for the associated risk management.

This might be an important contribution to understand the role and influence of social media in the lives of people and society. This study provides abundant information on the ways social media can be used to cope with the pandemic situation. This study might be one of the contributions for the productions of knowledge regarding this particular predicament of COVID-19 which might be helpful in further researches and studies.

1.6 Limitations of the Study
This study is apprehensible only to those people who are with social media and data are collected only from the social media users. COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent in the world including Nigeria at the time of writing this thesis. This research is based on respondent's experiences and opinions with social media during COVID- 19 till the time study was conducted.

1.8 De-Limitations of the Study
I reviewed limited theoretical, methodological, and empirical literature. I employed only interviews, observation, sample survey and case study methods to get the primary information from the field.

The fieldwork for the research was conducted within a short period of time; one- month fieldwork was carried out which might not be adequate time for the analysis of the role of social media at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is conducted among a sample of 40 social media users which may not be representative to explore the entire issues of research. I concentrated my study only among people aged from 16 -60. The experience and opinion of respondents may vary regarding the age of respondents therefore, the study may not be generalized for a bigger picture. Similarly, this study was carried out with the residents of Abuja municipal of Abuja. I do not claim that this study might the representative of all people living across the country.

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