Assessment of Public Confidence in Social Media Messages on COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria
This study was carried out to determine the kind of confidence that Nigerians have in social media messages on COVID-19 pandemic and the value of such confidence on the fight against the pandemic. Anchored on the uses and gratifications theory and social exchange theory, the researchers adopted descriptive survey research design with the questionnaire used as the research instrument for data collection. Data collected were analysed using descriptive method where simple percentages, multivariate frequency distribution tables and SPSS were used as the statistical tools for data analysis under descriptive method. Findings revealed that many Nigerians have high trust in social media messages on COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook followed by Whatsapp are used more among Nigerians for messages on COVID-19, and while the messages on COVID-19 pandemic like the origin, causes, effects, rate of spread, prevention protocol/measures, assistance/support, testing, location of isolation centres and use of vaccine are available; those of COVID-19 prevention protocol/measures are most available in the social media compared to others. Majority of Nigerians share and comment than they send text messages, post, chat or call in the use of social media for messages on COVID-19 pandemic. Finding however reveals low level of adoption of social media messages on COVID-19 among Nigerians despite their trust in the platforms. The conclusion of the study was that social media are now widely trusted and used channels of communication but apathy in the adoption of the messages received through the media among users can limit the proportion of success in their use for any programme/campaign.